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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, February 26th (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Lakers (32-25) at Utah Jazz (37-18), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Two of the top teams in the Western Conference meet when the Utah Jazz welcome the Los Angeles Lakers tonight to EnergySolutions Arena.

This is the third and final meeting of the regular season between the clubs. The teams split the two previous contests.

The Lakers have lost two straight and five of their last six at Utah.

The Northwest Division-leading Jazz go for their third win in a row. Derek Fisher scored 21 points on 8-of-11 from the field to lead a short-handed Jazz squad to a 105-87 victory over the Boston Celtics at EnergySolutions Arena.

Gordan Giricek stepped up and contributed 16 points off the bench in the win over Boston for the Jazz, who played without forward Andrei Kirilenko and All- Star center Mehmet Okur. Kirilenko did not play due to a bruised left knee and Okur missed his second straight contest with back spasms.

Carols Boozer contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, which has won five of its last six games overall. Matt Harpring provided a spark off the bench for the Jazz and ended with 15 points.

Kirilenko and Okur are both questionable for tonight's contest. Okur is averaging 18.4 points and 7.4 rebounds, while the athletic Kirilenko has registered 8.8 points and 5.1 boards per game.

Utah, which has won six in a row on its homecourt, is an impressive 22-6 at home this season. After tonight's contest, the Jazz will embark on a three- game road trip. They will visit Memphis, Minnesota and the Hornets.

The Lakers also try to pick up their third straight victory. Maurice Evans poured in a career-high 26 points and superstar Kobe Bryant also netted 26 to power the Lakers to a 102-85 victory over the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena.

Brian Cook ended with 11 points for Los Angeles, which has won two in a row after a six-game skid. The Lakers took advantage of poor shooting from the Warriors to beat them for a seventh straight time.

LA is just 12-16 on the road this season. The Lakers will have some time off, as they return to the court on March 2nd to host the Sacramento Kings at the Staples Center.

02/26 10:44:34 ET


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