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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, January 4th (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Lakers (20-11) at Sacramento Kings (14-15), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Pacific Division rivals battle tonight, as the Sacramento Kings welcome the Los Angeles Lakers to ARCO Arena.

This is the first of four meetings between the squads this season. The Lakers have lost three straight at Sacramento, which has won four of the last six contests in this series.

Sacramento has won two in a row as it plays the third of a five-game homestand. Ron Artest scored a career-high 39 points on 15-of-22 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds to help the Kings defeat the New York Knicks, 112-100, on Tuesday at ARCO Arena.

Mike Bibby finished with 19 points and nine assists in the victory for Sacramento, while Kevin Martin netted 12 for the Kings, who have won four of their last five games overall.

The Kings are 10-7 at home this season. They are scheduled to host the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday and LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.

Los Angeles tries to win back-to-back games. Kobe Bryant scored 35 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists as the Lakers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 104-94, on Sunday at the Staples Center.

Starting center Kwame Brown went down with a severely sprained left ankle early in the third quarter against Philadelphia. The injury occurred when he blocked a layup by Andre Miller, but then turned his ankle after landing on Miller's foot.

Brown, who is averaging 8.7 points and 6.6 rebounds this season, is out indefinitely.

Smush Parker ended with 12 points in the win for LA, while Luke Walton contributed 11 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, who have won four of their last six contests overall.

The Lakers are 6-7 on the road this season. They return home to host Denver on Friday and Dallas on Sunday.

01/04 10:56:03 ET

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