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Los Angeles at Golden State

Venue: ORACLE Arena
  •  

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers have capitalized on a favorable schedule in an effort to begin turning around a rough start.

A visit to Oakland should begin to make things a bit more difficult.

Bryant, along with a returning Steve Nash, will try to lift the Lakers to a season-high fourth straight win Saturday night when they face the surging Golden State Warriors, one of the NBA's biggest surprises so far.

Bryant leads the league with 29.5 points per game, but Los Angeles (12-14) has struggled to take advantage of his staggering production.

The Lakers were 1-11 when he'd scored at least 30 points until recently, but the 14-time All-Star has reached that mark in each of the last three games - all wins. However, they've all come against teams with losing records, including league-worst Washington in a 102-96 victory Dec. 14.

Los Angeles exploited another struggling opponent Tuesday, when Bryant scored 30 points in a 101-100 win over Charlotte - which hasn't won since beating the Wizards on Nov. 24.

"We're playing much better," said Bryant, who needs one more 30-point game to be the fifth player in league history to amass 400. "The last three games, we've been playing much better. We're moving the ball a lot better and playing with a lot better energy.

"We've had a lot of ups and downs. Now, things are starting to stabilize a little bit for us."

Things are also going to get tougher against the Warriors (18-9), winners of eight of 10, before Los Angeles returns home to face Atlantic Division-leading New York on Christmas Day. The Lakers fell 116-107 to the Knicks on Dec. 13 in their last loss.

Having Nash and Pau Gasol fully healthy should give them a much better chance of extending this run.

Gasol returned against the Bobcats after an eight-game absence due to knee tendinitis, scoring 10 points with nine rebounds, five assists and four blocks.

Nash had been questionable to play for the first time since Halloween due to a non-displaced fracture in his leg, but the team Tweeted on its official account the two-time NBA MVP is in the starting lineup for this game.

The Lakers have won 17 of the past 18 games with Golden State, including an 8-1 record at Oracle Arena.

Bryant has averaged 33.3 points in the past six meetings, and he had 27 with nine rebounds and seven assists Nov. 9 in a 101-77 romp as Los Angeles beat the Warriors for the fifth straight time.

Gasol had 14 points and 16 boards in that meeting, and has averaged 23.2 and 11.8 over his last 18 games against Golden State.

He figures to have his hands full battling David Lee, who is averaging 24.1 points and 11.8 rebounds over the past 11 games.

"You can pencil in 20 and 10, and then sprinkle in some other stuff around the tree," coach Mark Jackson said. "He's been that good all year long."

Lee's versatility produced his third triple-double Friday, as he had 23 points, 11 boards and 11 assists to power a 115-100 win over Charlotte.

Stephen Curry scored 27 points while connecting on 8 of 13 from beyond the arc after putting up a season-high 32 in a 131-127 loss at Sacramento two days earlier.

Curry had 18 points against the Lakers last month, while Lee was held to 10 and 12 rebounds.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
L.A. Lakers 0 Golden State 0
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
LA Lakers5th Pacific 2755.329303-7Won 2
Golden State2nd Pacific 5131.62266-4Won 2

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Injuries
L.A. Lakers
PlayerInjury
P GasolIllness
Golden St.
PlayerInjury
A IguodalaKnee
 
Key Players
Kobe<br>Bryant
Kobe
Bryant
, SG
38.4 Min. Per Game 37.6 David<br>Lee
David
Lee
, C
29.5 Pts. Per Game 20.0
5.0 Ast. Per Game 3.7
5.2 Reb. Per Game 11.3
47.7 Field Goal % 54.1
38.1 Three Point % 0.0
86.5 Free Throw % 80.9
 
Team Rankings
TeamRankPoints
Los Angeles Lakers1080.40
Golden State Warriors487.01
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Oct 31 @ L.A. ClippersLAC 126-115
Dec 25Golden St.GS 105-103
Jan 30Golden St.GS 111-92
Mar 12 @ L.A. ClippersLAC 111-98
Apr 19 @ L.A. Clippers 
Apr 21 @ L.A. Clippers 
Apr 24Golden St. 
Apr 27Golden St. 
Apr 29 @ L.A. Clippers 
May 1Golden St. 
May 3 @ L.A. Clippers 
 
Other Games
Chi 75 Final
Atl 92
Det 96 Final
Wash 87
Utah 89 Final
Mia 105
Ind 81 Final
NO 75
Mem 96 Final
Hou 121
Cle 94 Final
Mil 82
Char 88 Final
Den 110
Pho 93 Final
Port 96