LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — The Los Angeles Lakers are desperate to stop the LA Clippers from running over them with their dominant free scoring and head coach Mike D’Antoni knows just what his team must do tonight.
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“The biggest key for LA Lakers is keeping the Clippers out of transition and cutting off easy buckets,” D’Antoni said on Lakers.com. “[We] would prefer half court.”
The Clippers (38-17) are coming off a 106-96 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night for its third win a row and the Chris Paul led squad is hoping to build on those win with another at Staple Center.
Los Angeles Lakers suffered a 105-95 defeat to Clippers on Nov. 2 and then another narrow 107-102 loss again on Jan. 4 and are currently miles behind their city rivals.
However, Kobe Bryant, who is coming off a 1-for-8 performance in the win over the Phoenix Suns isn’t worried about the Clippers being so far ahead of them.
Bryant is also not worried about getting the stick from Clippers pair Paul and Blake Griffin, who will be teammates of his at All-Star weekend.
“I’m not worried about that. They can’t tell me nothing, anyway,” Bryant said.
Meanwhile, Clippers veteran guard Chauncey Billups said: “I think for the city, us being where we are and being a much better team than we have traditionally been and the Lakers kind of having a down season at this point.
“It’s probably a big game for the city.”
LA Lakers vs LA Clippers Starting Teams
Los Angeles Lakers – Steve Nash – G; Kobe Bryant – G; Metta World Peace – F; Dwight Howard – C
Los Angeles Clippers – Chris Paul – G; Chauncey Billups – G; Caron Butler – F; Blake Griffin – F; DeAndre Jordan – C