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Lakers Open NBA Preseason With Game Against Timberwolves In London

The two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers open the NBA preseason today, with a game at the O2 Arena in London against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Today provides the rare weekday afternoon basketball treat, as today's game starts at noon PDT. It will be broadcast live on NBA TV, and will be replayed later tonight, at 7 p.m. on KCAL.

Kobe Bryant, who didn't practice Monday and is still recovering from right knee surgery, is expected to play today, albeit limited minutes, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Bryant is expected to play limited minutes for most of the preseason, although coach Phil Jackson hinted last week that Bryant may play a few more minutes in the two games in Europe.

The Lakers are 10-0 against the Timberwolves in the last three seasons. Minnesota was 15-67 last season under former Laker player and coach Kurt Rambis.

As part of NBA Europe Live, the Lakers are playing a pair of games in Europe. After today's game in London, they play Thursday in Spain against Regal FC Barcelona, a team the Lakers played in 2008 at Staples Center. This is the second time the Lakers have played in Europe in the preseason. They last played in Oct. 1991, with two games in Paris, in the McDonald's Open.

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