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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 31st (All times Eastern)

Charlotte Bobcats (20-27) at Los Angeles Lakers (16-30), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Bobcats started their four-game western trip with a win and they'll try to keep the momentum going Friday night when they head to the Staples Center to visit the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Bobcats opened their trek with a 101-98 victory over the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night.

Al Jefferson was dominant with 35 points and 11 rebounds. Gerald Henderson added 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Ramon Sessions scored 16 and dished out seven assists for the Bobcats, who snapped a two-game slide.

"One of the keys to the game was we got off to a good start. We struggled defensively in the second half with the high pick-and-roll defense. I thought in the last three or four minutes we played well defensively," said Bobcats coach Steve Clifford.

It will be a return of sorts for Clifford as he was a Lakers assistant last season.

The Bobcats may get a huge piece back on Friday night as Kemba Walker is close to a return. He's missed the last five games with a sprained left ankle, but practiced Thursday and could be a go for either Friday or Saturday against the Phoenix Suns.

The Lakers are mired in a five-game losing streak and are a 1/2 game out of dead last in the Western Conference.

After a seven-game Grammy road trip, where the Lakers lost the last four, LA came home on Tuesday and fell to the Indiana Pacers, 104-92. It was the 13th consecutive outing where the Lakers allowed 100-plus points.

Pau Gasol and Jodie Meeks both scored 21 points for LA. It was Gasol's fifth consecutive 20-point, 10-rebound double-double. Kendall Marshall contributed 11 points and 13 assists.

Prior to the game, the Lakers announced that star Kobe Bryant would miss at least another three weeks before returning to the lineup because of pain and swelling in his left knee.

"At this point there's no use forcing him back," said LA head coach Mike D'Antoni. "So when he's ready, he'll play."

The Lakers did see some encouraging signs on the injury front. Point guards Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake all practiced on Thursday, but all three have been ruled out against the Bobcats.

"I can get up and down first of all," Nash explained. "I can withstand more demands, more contact, more unpredictable factors, change of direction, playing against somebody. That was something the nerve and spine couldn't handle two weeks ago."

The Lakers have won five straight against the Bobcats, including this season's only matchup in Charlotte.

01/31 11:50:24 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
NYY 2
BAL 10
Final
TAM 6
BOS 9
Final
MIA 1
HOU 1
Final
MIN 7
PHI 1
Final
DET 4
STL 3
Final
PIT 8
TOR 3
Final
TOR 3
ATL 5
Final
NYM 10
WAS 2
Final
CIN 9
CHC 5
Final
MIL 2
CLE 3
Final
CHC 18
COL 4
Final
CWS 4
OAK 10
Final
TEX 2
SDP 3
Final
SEA 8
SFG 9
Final
ARI 5
KAN 10
Final
ANA 4
LOS 5
1:05pm Today
PHI
DET
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
HOU
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
BAL
 
3:10pm Today
ANA
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
KAN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
CLE
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
MIL
 
4:05pm Today
SDP
SEA
 
4:05pm Today
LOS
TEX
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CHI 111
NYK 80
Final
MIL 95
GSW 108
Final
UTA 94
OKC 89
Final
POR 120
DEN 114
12:30pm Today
WAS
HOU
 
3:30pm Today
BRK
LAL
 
4:00pm Today
NOP
MIN
 
4:30pm Today
CLE
PHI
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
DET
 
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
SAN
MEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
OKC
 
Final
WISC 85
ARZ 78
Final
YALE 78
CAN 73
Final
KENT 68
ND 66
2:20pm Today
LOU
MSU
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
WAS 3
NAS 4
Final
NYI 2
ANA 3
Final
PIT 3
ARI 2
Final
BOS 4
NYR 2
Final
PHI 2
SJS 3
Final
DET 4
TAM 0
Final
MON 3
FLA 2
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
Final
TOR 4
OTT 3
Final
STL 2
CLB 4
Final
MIN 4
LOS 1
Final
COL 5
BUF 3
Final
VAN 3
DAL 4
3:00pm Today
NYR
WAS
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:00pm Tonight
NAS
CAL
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
OTT
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
CHI
 
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
SJS