(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers didn't have Kobe Bryant in the
first meeting with the rival Clippers and won't have him again when the
Pacific Division foes collide Friday at Staples Center.
Bryant was recovering from Achilles surgery when the Lakers handed the
Clippers a 116-103 defeat on Oct. 29 and now the future Hall of Famer and
five-time NBA champion is nursing a broken bone in his knee.
Xavier Henry led seven Lakers in double figures with 22 points off the bench
to snap a four-game losing streak to the Clips. Chris Paul had 15 points and
11 assists in the loss, but he is out indefinitely with a separated right
shoulder. The Lakers have lost six of eight as the visitor in this rivalry.
The Lakers have lost three in a row overall and nine of 10 games, including
Wednesday's 113-99 setback at Houston. Nick Young netted 25 points off the
bench, while Pau Gasol and Jodie Meeks each had 21 points in a losing effort.
Gasol also grabbed 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who are 0-2 on a three-game
road trip and in the midst of playing 10 of 11 games on the road.
"We're just not taking care of the ball. We get slow. We get methodical. We
got stuck in the mud in the second half, and we've got to do a better job,"
Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni said.
The Lakers, who are 6-12 as the guest, will host Cleveland next week before
embarking on a seven-game road trip.
The Clippers, meanwhile, have won the first two tests of their four-game
homestand and are coming off Wednesday's 111-105 victory over Boston.
Blake Griffin scored 29 points, Jamal Crawford added 26 and Jared Dudley
chipped in 18 points for the Clippers, who improved to 16-3 at home and have
won 10 of the last 14 games.
"It felt like we played in spurts. When we got a (big) lead, we relaxed,"
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said.
The Clippers will also host Dallas and are 10-2 against the West at home.
Clippers guard J.J. Redick (hand/elbow) is probable Friday and hasn't played
since Nov. 29 at Sacramento, He is averaging 15.8 points per game.
The Sports Network