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Kobe, Durant Take Center Stage As Lakers Battle Thunder In Sunday Matinee On ABC

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers look for their fourth straight win today, but will have to do so on the road against Kevin Durant and the new-look Oklahoma City Thunder in a matinee on ABC. Well, sort of. Center Kendrick Perkins, the biggest of the Thunder's two big man acquisitions on Thursday, won't play today as he is out another week or so with a left knee injury. The Lakers beat the Thunder in their only meeting this season, 101-94 on January 17 at Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant scored 24 points Friday night against the Clippers, which put him over the 1,500 point mark on the season, the 11th consecutive year Kobe has scored at least 1,500 points. It is the longest streak in the NBA since Karl Malone scored 1,500 points in 12 straight years, from the 1986-87 season to 1997-98, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Bryant also needs just 11 points to pass Elvin Hayes for seventh place on the NBA all-time scoring list.

The Thunder have lost their last two games, including a 23-point shellacking Friday in Orlando. However, they have not lost three straight games all season, one of four NBA teams this year to share that distinction. Including the loss to the Lakers on January 17, the Thunder are 9-8 in their last 17 games. They are currently in first place in the Northwest Division and hold the fourth seed in the Western Conference, 3½ games behind the Lakers. Oklahoma City is 20-8 at home this season. The Lakers are 20-11 on the road this season, the fourth best road record in the NBA.

For more information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.