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Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves preview

The Lakers (3-12) have struggled through most of the season against top-notch competition, playing teams with winning or even records almost exclusively.

On Friday, the Lakers will host the young, and injured, Minnesota Timberwolves (3-10).

A number of players are either out or questionable for the Wolves including Ricky Rubio (ankle), Mo Williams (illness), Kevin Martin (wrist), Nikola Pekovic (wrist) and Ronny Turiaf (hip).

The Lakers will be without Xavier Henry (Achilles), Ryan Kelly (hamstring), Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg).

While the Lakers are expected to pick up free agent forward Earl Clark, the exact time frame is not yet clear.

Key match up

Small forward Andrew Wiggins was originally selected first in the 2014 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he was sent to Minnesota as part of the Kevin Love trade.

Wiggins is still learning the game at the professional level, averaging 12.6 points and 3.8 rebounds a game.

Thus far he's shooting 41.3% from the field...

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Five takeaways from Lakers' loss to Memphis Grizzlies

The Lakers gave Memphis almost all they could handle, but ultimately the now 13-2 Grizzlies finished off the now 3-12 Lakers. Here are five takeaways from the 99-93 defeat Wednesday at Staples Center.

1. Kobe Bryant is still looking for balance between taking over a game and dominating the ball or facilitating the team's offense, setting screens and playing defense. Bryant barely looked to score in the first half and the Lakers hummed along successfully on both ends of the floor while building a nine-point lead. Later, Bryant attacked the basket instead of relying entirely on his jump shot, attempting and making 10 free throws. In the final minutes, the ball stopped and Bryant took a few rushed shots as the game slipped away. Non-calls were often followed by Bryant scolding an official (earning a technical foul on one occasion), instead of rushing back on defense. Teammate Jeremy Lin scored 13 points in the first half but only one in the second. Balance was there Wednesday night in...

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Lakers to sign Earl Clark, likely waive Xavier Henry

The Lakers are involved in discussions to reunite with one of their former players but haven't officially signed Earl Clark.

One person familiar with the situation said the team had agreed to terms with Clark for the rest of the season, but another person cautioned that a deal had not been completed.

The Lakers are at the NBA-maximum 15 players and would have two options to sign Clark. They could waive a player such as Xavier Henry, who would still get his $1.1 million this season. However, someone close to the situation said that would be "too cold" for the Lakers to do the same week Henry had surgery to repair a torn Achilles' tendon.

The Lakers could also wait for the NBA to grant a hardship waiver, which would temporarily allow them to increase their roster size to 16 players.

The hardship waiver isn't expected to be granted until this weekend or next week. It stipulates that a team must have four players sidelined at the same time with substantial injuries.

Henry, Steve Nash and...

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Lakers run out of momentum in 99-93 loss to Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies 99, Lakers 93 (final)

For the second time this season, the Lakers competed through a tight game against the Grizzlies -- falling at Staples Center by six points.

Earlier this month, the Lakers gave one of the NBA's best teams a scare, only to lose by five points.

On Wednesday night, Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies' charge, notching a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Conley also scored 19 with seven assists.

The Lakers' early lead was built up without much scoring from Kobe Bryant, led by a strong first half from Jeremy Lin.

After 13 in the first, Lin scored just one point in the second half, finishing with 14 points and five assists. Bryant scored 22 after just eight in the first two quarters, but the Lakers' All-Star wasn't able to hit crucial shots late in the game.

The Lakers hit 40.7% from the field as a team and 42.1% from three-point range (8-19).  The Grizzlies converted 45.0% and 22.7% (5 of 22), respectively. Memphis had two more turnovers...

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Long(shot) list of players fits within Steve Nash disabled exception

The Lakers were granted a $4.85 million disabled-player exception on Tuesday for injured point guard Steve Nash.

What that means for a future Lakers' acquisition isn't as straightforward. The exception is a spending tool that can be used to add one player via free agency or a waiver claim. The team can pay that player no more than $4.85 million. It can also use the exception to trade for one player making up to $4.95 million.

Free agents who might be worth close to $5 million include shooter Ray Allen and center Emeka Okafor, but are those players more likely to choose to join the 3-11 Lakers or a contending team? The answer seems clear to be the latter.

Teams generally need to send out a player or players to match salary to acquire a player via trade; the exception enables the Lakers to get around that complication.

If a player is on a one- or two-year contract at a minimum salary, he is eligible to be traded without any salary matching.  A disabled-player exception is unnecessary in...

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Preview: Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

The Lakers (3-11) have lost two straight after their first winning streak of the season (just a pair of victories).

On Wednesday at Staples Center they'll host the Memphis Grizzlies (12-2), tied with the Toronto Raptors for the best record in the NBA.

In a close battle on Nov. 11, the Lakers lost to the Grizzlies by just five points in Memphis, 107-102.

That was prior to the return of the Lakers' Nick Young (thumb) and Wayne Ellington (personal matter). Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 28 points. Carlos Boozer added 20 points and eight rebounds, while Jordan Hill notched a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds.

The Grizzlies were led by Mike Conley's 23 points. Marc Gasol neared a triple-double with eight points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Beno Udrih was a problem off the bench, scoring 16 points in 18 minutes.

Boozer (strained left shoulder) and Ed Davis (right ankle sprain) are expected to play. The Lakers will be without Xavier Henry (Achilles'), Ryan Kelly (hamstring),...

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