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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Wednesday, March 22nd (All times eastern)

Sacramento Kings (34-33) at Los Angeles Lakers (35-34), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Two teams battling for their playoff lives meet tonight, as the Los Angeles Lakers host the Sacramento Kings tonight at the Staples Center.

Sacramento and the Lakers are tied for the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff race. The Hornets are just one game out of the race, while the Jazz trail the Kings and Lakers by two games.

Los Angeles starts a four-game homestand this evening and will attempt to win its second straight contest. On Monday, Kobe Bryant scored 43 points to lead the Lakers to a wire-to-wire win over the Boston Celtics, 105-97, at TD Banknorth Garden.

Bryant hit 18-of-39 shots from the floor and scored 16 points in the fourth quarter during Monday's victory, as the Lakers ended a two-game slide and won for just the second time in their last six outings. Lamar Odom ended with 17 points and Smush Parker scored 14 in the win.

The Lakers are 18-13 as the host this season. They are scheduled to play Milwaukee, New Orleans/Oklahoma City and San Antonio.

Sacramento tries to make two straight wins, as it begins a brief two-game homestand this evening. On Tuesday, Ron Artest poured in a season-high 34 points to lead the Kings to a 105-96 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics at ARCO Arena.

Mike Bibby added 30 points and dished out eight assists in the win over Seattle for the Kings, who have won six of their last eight games overall. Kenny Thomas posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Bonzi Wells netted 10 points the bench for Sacramento.

The Kings, who will visit the Jazz on Saturday at the Delta Center, are just 11-22 as the visitor this season. They have dropped two in a row on the road.

This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the clubs. Sacramento won a pair at ARCO Arena, while the Lakers defeated the Kings, 106-85, on February 23rd at the Staples Center.

Sacramento has won three of five and four of its last seven at the Lakers.

03/22 10:37:33 ET

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