Preview: Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

The Lakers, losers of three straight, will take on Golden State, which has the league's best record at 23-3

The Lakers have dropped three straight games leading into Tuesday's scheduled battle at Staples Center against the team with the NBA's best record, the 23-3 Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors average 108.3 points a night while allowing just 98, a league-best point differential. Golden State played on Monday, defeating the Sacramento Kings, 128-108.

The Lakers are still down Xavier Henry (Achilles), Ryan Kelly (hamstring), Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg). The Warriors will be without Andrew Bogut (knee). 

Key matchup

Dealing with the backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson has proved difficult for the rest of the NBA, and the Lakers aren't exactly a defensive force.

Teams have to gear their defenses specifically to try to deal with Curry's shooting range, ball-handling and playmaking, and Thompson isn't far behind Curry.

The Lakers have Kobe Bryant, but he's been fighting through fatigue and struggling to hit shots he's used to making.

Defensively, the Lakers have to try to counter Curry and Thompson with Ronnie Price, Jeremy Lin, Wayne Ellington and Bryant -- along with forwards Nick Young and Wesley Johnson.

X-factor

The Warriors rely heavily on two role players, defensive forward Draymond Green and reserve forward/center Marreese Speights.

Green has developed offensively, adding an outside threat to the Warriors starting lineup.

Speights is a primary scorer for the team off the bench.

The Lakers need to generate enough offense, from players such as Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer, Bryant, Young and Lin while dealing with the myriad of weapons at the Warriors' disposal.

Outlook

The Warriors are a particularly difficult matchup for the Lakers, and, given the Lakers' recent play, a win would be quite the long shot

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus

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