The Lakers (5-14) finish a three-game trip on Friday by visiting the Boston Celtics (5-11).
Boston is a high-scoring squad, on par with the Lakers (almost 104 points a game), with a tendency to fall out of games in the fourth quarter. The Lakers typically have had more troubles in the third quarter.
The Celtics aren't very good defensively, giving up an average of 107.3 points a game, still less than the Lakers' 111.1.
The Lakers will play without Xavier Henry (Achilles' tendon), Ryan Kelly (hamstring), Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg).
Even when both teams are down and out, there's always something special about a Lakers-Celtics game.
The Celtics have a number of scorers, which helps make them difficult to defend.
Johnson's offense comes and goes but more important, the Lakers want him to be a consistent, top-notch defender.
The Celtics can put up some points, which is why the Lakers need to give an even greater effort defensively.
Lakers center Jordan Hill is an important player Friday, with his offensive rebounding and streaky jump shot. The Lakers' spacing improves dramatically when Hill is hitting from the outside.
The Lakers have a real chance to get the win in Boston. It's a coin flip, but one slightly favoring the home team.