Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers: Preview, Analysis and Predictions

Just when we thought the Lakers-Clippers rivalry couldn't get any more heated, it reached a new boiling point this season. The Lakers have struggled all season despite acquiring both Steve Nash and Dwight Howard during the offseason, and the team is struggling to just clinch a playoff spot rather than contend for a championship.

The Clippers' situation is the exact opposite. Lob City is not far removed from a 17-game winning streak and currently owns the No. 3 seed in the tough Western Conference. This game against the rival Lakers is a home game for them, but fans of both teams will surely make the foundation of the Staples Center shake.

In the Lakers' case, the game is about getting back on track. Moreover, it is about avenging an early season loss. That was back when Mike Brown was coach and the failed Princeton offense was the offensive philosophy, and the new Mike D'Antoni-led team will be out to prove that despite the difference in records, Los Angeles is the Lakers' territory.

Fortunately for Kobe Bryant & Co., the Clippers have lost two in a row since winning 17 straight. Just the same, the Clips will want to get back on the winning track just as much as their city rivals.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the recipe for an excellent rivalry game.


Time: Friday, Jan. 4, 10:30 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN, Time Warner Cable Sportsnet, FSN Prime Ticket

Records: Los Angeles Lakers (15-16) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (25-8)

Betting Line: Lakers (+5), Clippers (-5)

Injuries: Steve Blake (abdomen, out), Chris Duhon (back, day-to-day), Caron Butler (personal, day-to-day), Grant Hill (knee, out), Chauncey Billups (foot, out), Trey Thompkins (knee, out)


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