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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, November 2nd (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Lakers (0-1) at Phoenix Suns (1-0), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers will try and ignore the Kobe Bryant soap opera that is currently taking place, as they visit the Phoenix Suns tonight at US Airways Center.

Phoenix has knocked the Lakers out in the first round of the playoffs two straight years. The Suns eliminated the Lakers in seven games in 2006 and in five contests during the 2007 postseason.

The Lakers play their first road game of the season this evening. Rumors continue to fly regarding the possible trade of Bryant to the Chicago Bulls. A three-way deal involving Sacramento and Chicago has also been rumored to have been discussed.

LA opened the campaign with a tough loss. Tracy McGrady scored 30 points and Shane Battier drained a tie-breaking three-pointer with 2.5 seconds to play, as Houston held on in the final seconds to top the Lakers, 95-93, on Tuesday at Staples Center.

Bryant recorded a game-high 45 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter for the Lakers, who finished with a 42-40 record last season. Derek Fisher scored 17 points, while Bryant and Kwame Brown pulled down eight rebounds apiece in the loss.

After tonight's contest, the Lakers return home for a three-game stand. They will host Utah, New Orleans and the new-look Timberwolves during the upcoming homestand.

Forward Lamar Odom is expected to miss tonight's contest after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in May. The 6-10 Odom could miss the first few weeks of the new campaign.

The Suns open a brief two-game homestand. On Thursday, Amare Stoudemire scored a team-high 23 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to help the Suns defeat the Seattle SuperSonics, 106-99, in their season-opener at KeyArena.

Stoudemire grabbed 11 rebounds and was one of three players to register a double-double for the Suns, who won their first season-opener in three years. Steve Nash posted 18 points and 12 assists, while Shawn Marion registered 14 points and 11 rebounds in the victory.

Phoenix is scheduled to host LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday at US Airways Center.

The Suns were 2-1 against the Lakers during the 2006-07 regular season. The Lakers have lost five straight after winning their last three at Phoenix.

11/02 10:50:23 ET


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