Road to the Repeat: Lakers vs. Pacers

Road to the Repeat: Lakers vs. Pacers

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Written by: DaVion Lee

Tonight the Los Angeles Lakers (45-15) play the last game of their three-game homestand as they host the Indiana Pacers (20-39).

The Lakers are coming off an impressive and much needed victory over the rivaled Denver Nuggets this past Sunday. L.A. defensively shut down Denver in the fourth quarter, winning 95-89, despite Bryant’s poor shooting night. Kobe was 3-17, with 14 points, but did tally a season-high 12 assists.

Tonight they face a Pacers team that are an awful 7-23 away from Conseco Fieldhouse. Last time these two teams met, the Lakers handedly took that game, 118-96 in Indianapolis.

The last meeting in L.A., however, was a nail-biter, but Kobe hit a game-winning fadeaway resulting in a 121-119 victory over the Pacers on Jan. 9th, 2009.

This should be a much easier game for the Lakers. Bynum and Gasol are projected to have big games, due to the lack of size in the Indiana frontcourt. Bryant should be looking to bounce back from his recent scoring slump. He averages 28.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, and 5.6 apg at home against the Pacers.

For Indiana, Danny Granger is always a scoring threat for any NBA team. Despite averaging 23 ppg this season, he’s still very capable of putting up big numbers. Troy Murphy is also a matchup problem as the 6’11 forward/center can step out and knock down shots from behind the arc. He’ll look to force Bynum out of the paint as the game goes on.

PROJECTED STARTERS:

Lakers:
(C) A. Bynum
(PF) P. Gasol
(SF) R. Artest
(SG) K. Bryant
(PG) D. Fisher

Injuries:
No Significant Injuries

Pacers:
(C) T. Murphy
(PF) D. Granger
(SF) B. Rush
(SG) E. Watson
(PG) T. Ford

Injuries:
S. Jones (suspension) is out.
T. Hansbrough (inner ear) is out.

NOTES:
The Lakers are 53-19 all time against the Pacers. The Pacers have never won in the Staples Center since its opening in 1999, an incredible 0-13 (including the 2000 NBA Finals).

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