The Lakers look for their third straight win on Friday night at Staples Center, hosting a Clippers team that is just happy to be back in Los Angeles. The Clippers will technically be playing their 11th straight road game, the longest road trip in the NBA this season, although they are back in their regular locker room for the first time in a whopping 23 days. Since the All-Star break, the Lakers are 2-0 while the Clippers are 0-2.
Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest led the Lakers to a dramatic comeback victory on Wednesday in Portland. The Lakers scored the final eight points of regulation to force overtime, then took control in the extra period, defeating the Blazers 106-101. Kobe had 37 points to lead all scorers, and now stands just 34 points behind Elvin Hayes for seventh place on the all-time NBA scoring list.
This is also the first game for the Clippers after they traded Baron Davis and a lottery pick to the Cavaliers for point guard Mo Williams and forward Jamario Moon. However, they are still without Eric Gordon, who is out for the 16th straight game with a right wrist injury. The Lakers are 21-9 at Staples Center this season, including 20-8 as the home team. The Clippers are 16-14 at Staples Center this year. The Lakers have beaten the Clippers six straight times as the home team.