With the trade deadline behind them, the Los Angeles Lakers can now place their focus squarely on bringing an end to their current four-game losing streak as they face bitter rival Boston Celtics in what will be the final meeting between the two teams this season. The Lakers won the first matchup, 107-104, on Jan. 17 at the TD Garden, which at the time, ended a six-game losing streak.
In part due to the seven-game Grammy road trip, the Lakers haven’t won a home game since Jan. 3. Pau Gasol will be back in the starting lineup and newcomers Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks are also expected to play, while Xavier Henry, Steve Nash and Nick Young remain out.
Meanwhile, the Celtics are just 1-3 in their last four games and Friday is the second stop on a four-game road trip. Also mired in a disappointing season and rumored to be interested in shedding salary, namely in the form of All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, the Celtics stood their ground and didn’t partake in any trades.
With both teams outside of the playoff picture in their respective conferences, Friday’s game seemingly appears to be about defeating your rival or improving your draft position, depending on your perspective.
Starters tonight: Marshall, Meeks, Johnson, Kelly and Gasol. Young and Henry are still out but thought to be close to returning.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 21, 2014
New Laker Kent Bazemore said he grew up “idolizing” Kobe Bryant
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 21, 2014
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