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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 28th (All times eastern)

Utah Jazz (16-14) at Los Angeles Lakers (18-10), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The streaking Los Angeles Lakers play the second of a five- game homestand, as they host the Utah Jazz tonight at the Staples Center.

This is the third of four meetings between the clubs this season. Utah is scheduled to host the Lakers on March 20, 2008 at EnergySolutions Arena.

The teams split the first two contests, as both clubs picked up a win on its homecourt. Utah has lost three straight and four of its last five at the Lakers.

Los Angeles enters tonight's contest on a three-game winning streak. Superstar Kobe Bryant scored 26 of his game-high 38 points in the second half, as the Lakers continued their December surge with a 122-115 win over the Phoenix Suns on Christmas Day at the Staples Center.

Andrew Bynum poured in a career-high 28 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, while Lamar Odom contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds in the victory for the Lakers, who are 9-3 this month. Derek Fisher finished with 19 points and Trevor Ariza netted 14 in the win.

The Lakers are 10-4 as the host this season. They will also play the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers on the current homestand.

On the injury front for the Lakers, forward Luke Walton is questionable with a sprained right ankle. Walton, who has missed two straight games, is averaging 7.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 25 games this season.

Utah tries to win back-to-back contests for the first time since winning three in a row from November 28 to December 3. Carlos Boozer scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds in Utah's 99-90 victory over the Mavericks on Wednesday at EnergySolutions Arena.

Deron Williams contributed 17 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists for the Jazz, who beat Dallas for just the fourth time in the last 13 meetings. Andrei Kirilenko also had 17 points and came up with some key defensive plays, including three steals for Utah, which moved to 10-2 at home this season.

The Jazz are 6-12 on the road this season. After tonight's game, they return home for a three-game stand versus Boston, Portland and Philadelphia.

12/28 10:42:12 ET

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