Lakers Battle Suns At Staples Center Looking To Get Back Into Win Column

The Los Angeles Lakers look to rebound from their first loss of the season with a home game Sunday night against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. The Lakers, who lost 118-112 Thursday night in Denver to the Nuggets, are 6-0 at home this season. Tonight's game figures to be an offensive affair, as the Lakers and Suns are the top two teams in the league in offensive efficiency:

Rank Team Pts Per 100 Possessions
1) Lakers      
116.1
2) Suns 111.5
Source: Basketball-Reference.com

The Lakers beat the Suns 114-106 on October 29 in Phoenix, in their second game of the season. Lamar Odom, with 18 points and 17 rebounds, and Pau Gasol, with 21 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists, led the way in that game in Phoenix. Gasol had a season-high 20 rebounds in Thursday's loss in Denver, and is averaging 11.8 rebounds on the season, which ranks third in the NBA. Odom ranks seventh in the NBA, averaging 10.9 rebounds per contest.

Kobe Bryant on Thursday night became the youngest player in NBA history to score 26,000 points. He scored a season-high 34 points against the Nuggets, but made only 11 of 32 field goals. Kobe has scored 67 points in his last two games, but has also taken 60 shots to do so, with an effective field goal percentage of 42.5% in those two games. On the season, Bryant is averaging a team-high 25.2 points in just 32.8 minutes per game. Bryant's low minutes per game in the last 12 seasons is 36.1 (in 2008-2009), so any extra rest Bryant can give his knee in the early part of the season is a blessing.

The Lakers have won the season series with the Suns in each of the last three seasons, winning 10 of their last 13 regular season matchups with the Suns. The Lakers are 16-6 all-time against Phoenix at Staples Center, including 7-3 in their last 10 meetings in Los Angeles. Steve Nash has been hot in his last three games, shooting 65% from the field (26-of-40) while averaging 21.0 points and 13.3 assists during that span. Nash is averaging 19.9 points and 9.5 assists per game on the season.

The game is a 6:30 p.m. PST start, and will be televised by Fox Sports West. Tonight's game is the Lakers' seventh home game in their first 10 contests, but they begin a three-game road trip Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

For more Lakers news, analysis, and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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