The Los Angeles Lakers have won all six games since the All-Star break, but face their toughest test yet Sunday as they face the San Antonio Spurs, owners of the best record in the NBA, in a nationally televised game on ABC. The game today begins a seven-day, four-game road trip for the Lakers, all against teams that will make the playoffs this season. The Lakers have lost both matchups with the Spurs this season.
Kobe Bryant is 38 points shy of matching Moses Malone, the one-time Spur, for sixth place on the NBA all-time scoring list. He has scored 38 points or more four times in 63 games this season, and against the Spurs he has averaged 18.5 points per contest this year. In each game, the Spurs held Kobe to under-30% shooting, as he made a total of 13 of 45 field goal attempts in two games this season.
The Spurs were supposed to be without Tony Parker in Sunday's game, as he was going to miss two to four weeks with a left calf injury. However, Parker returned to the Spurs on Friday night after missing only two games, scoring 15 points and dishing out eight assists in 23 minutes as San Antonio destroyed the Miami Heat by 30 points. Parker has scored 44 points in two games against the Lakers this season, shooting 54.3% from the field.
While the Spurs have their point guard back, the Lakers await word on theirs. Derek Fisher sprained his left elbow in Friday night's win over Charlotte, but is listed as probable for Sunday's game. Fisher has played in 476 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA.
For more news and information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.