Written by: DaVion Lee
With the All-Star break ending, the Lakers (41-13) are looking to keep their great effort going. Tonight they enter the second half of the season facing an injury-plagued Golden State Warriors team who is just 14-37 on the season. Los Angeles is 2-0 on the season series, taking a home and road win against the team from northern California.
It looks as if star guard Kobe Bryant (ankle) will not be back in the lineup tonight, and is officially listed as doubtful. Yesterday, however, Bryant participated in his first full practice since the injury. His absence so far hasn’t been a problem, as the Lakers are 3-0 without Bryant, and playing some of the best defensive basketball of the year against Utah, San Antonio, and Portland.
The Warriors, despite already being knocked out of playoff contention, have some bright spots to look at. Rookie guard Stephen Curry is averaging 14.8 PPG and is shooting 43% from 3-point territory. This means the guards of the Lakers will again have to keep their eyes on the perimeter. He is also coming off his first career triple-double last week (36 PTS, 10 REB, 13 AST on Feb. 10th in a 132-103 win over the Clippers).
Los Angeles is certainly playing it safe by sitting Bryant, trying to ensure the second half playoff push is a healthy one. With that said, here are the injury reports and projected starting lineups for tonight’s game:
Lakers; Bynum(hip) & Bryant(left ankle) are QUESTIONABLE.
Luke Walton(back) is out indefinitely.
Warriors; Monta Ellis(left knee) is a game-time decision. Vladimir Radmanovic(right achilles) is day-to-day.
Corey Maggette(dislocated finger) is out.
Kelenna Azubuike(patellar tendon) is out.
Raja Bell(wrist) is out.
Brandon Wright(shoulder sugery) is out.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
(C) Pau Gasol
(PF) Lamar Odom
(SF) Ron Artest
(SG) Shannon Brown
(PG) Derek Fisher
(C) Andris Biedrins
(PF) Anthony Toliver
(SF) Anthony Morrow
(SG) CJ Watson
(PG) Stephen Curry
NOTES: Lakers have won 28 of 31 home games against the Warriors since 1993-94. Also are 235-137 all-time in the head-to-head series.