Lakers act as host against Clippers
(Sports Network) – The battle for bragging rights in Los Angeles takes place
once again, as the Lakers will act as the host tonight when they square off
with the surprising Clippers at the Staples Center.
The Clippers, who have lost 14 of 16 and 18 of their last 21 as the visitor
against the Lakers, have won two straight in this series, while the Lakers
have been victorious in 10 of the last 13 meetings.
The Lakers will play the second contest of a five-game homestand. On
Wednesday, Kobe Bryant poured in 42 points, 29 of which came in the second
half, to lead the Lakers to a 97-92 victory over New York in a battle between
two of the NBA’s marquee head coaches at the Staples Center. Bryant’s
performance took the spotlight away from the pre-game hype surrounding the
first meeting between legends Phil Jackson and Larry Brown since Brown’s
Detroit Pistons shocked Jackson’s Lakers in five games to win the 2004 NBA
Championship. Jackson leads Brown, 26-13, in regular season meetings.
Chris Mihm finished with 14 points and nine rebounds in the win over New York
for the Lakers, while Lamar Odom had 13 points and nine boards to help the
Lakers halt a three-game slide.
The Lakers, who will also play Chicago, Seattle and New Jersey on the current
homestand, are 2-1 as the host this season.
The Clippers have played well early on this season and will attempt to win
their fourth game in their last five tries. On Tuesday, Sam Cassell had 23
points and nine assists to lead the Clippers to a 109-85 rout of the Milwaukee
Bucks at the Staples Center.
Elton Brand scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the win over
Milwaukee for the Clippers, who are off to their best start in franchise
history. Corey Maggette added 21 points for the Clippers, who led the entire
way and were in front of the Bucks by as many as 31 points.
The Clippers will host back-to-back games after tonight’s contest. They will
welcome the Golden State Warriors on Sunday to the Staples Center and will
host Toronto next Wednesday.