After two weeks away from Staples Center, the Lakers are at home tonight hoping to avenge the 92-86 loss to Phoenix that began the Grammy Trip back on January 30th. The Lakers (24-18), who had a 4-3 record on the trip, are banged-up and are looking forward to getting a few days off this weekend during the All-Star Break. The Phoenix game is the first of two games left before the break, with a tough matchup with the Clippers on Thursday night.
Los Angeles has won seven of its last 10 games but has failed to make up any significant ground in the Western Conference. They are coming off of a poor performance in Miami, which resulted in a 107-97 loss to the Heat on Sunday. The defensive effort was lacking, to say the least, and they couldn’t keep up with the Heat’s scoring. Even on the doorstep of the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Lakers still don’t have an identity as a team and hopefully, for their fans sake, they can find an identity or build some momentum in the next two games.
The Suns (17-35) are the worst team in the Western Conference. They are on a three-game losing streak, which includes back-to-back games in which they lost by 28 or more points to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Suns are at their best in transition and their last three losses were at the hands of teams that are young, athletic, and play solid transition defense. Effort, on the Lakers end, will be the key to winning the game tonight. Getting back on defense is a must and if the Lakers do so and prevent the Suns from running the court freely, maybe they can get some team chemistry built up before Thursday and the subsequent five-day break.
#15 World Peace SF #17 Tucker
#6 Clark PF #14 Scola
#12 Howard C #4 Gortat
#24 Bryant SG #3 Dudley
#10 Nash PG #1 Dragic
The game tips-off at Staples Center at 7:30PM PT on TWC SportsNet.
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