Preview: Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Lakers to visit Golden State Warriors, and Jordan Clarkson vs.Stephen Curry is a key matchup

On back-to-back nights, the Lakers (17-48) have drawn the two best teams in the league. On Sunday, they fell to the 52-14 Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center.

On the road Monday, they'll visit the Golden State Warriors (52-13).

The Lakers previously upset the Warriors in late December, with a 115-105 victory in which seven Lakers scored in double figures.

Stephen Curry scored 22 points in the losing effort, but turned the ball over seven times.

Center Andrew Bogut sat out with injury, but the Warriors now are at full strength, while the Lakers bring a skeleton crew.

Nick Young is out with a knee injury while Ronnie Price (elbow), Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Julius Randle (knee) and Steve Nash (back) are all done for the season.

Key matchup

Rookie Jordan Clarkson will be tested once again, playing against an NBA most-valuable-player candidate in Curry.

Curry is an extremely gifted shooter and ballhandler.  He's surrounded by excellent players, including backcourt mate Klay Thompson.

Clarkson is still learning how to play point guard at the NBA level, averaging 9.5 points and 2.5 assists a game on the season while shooting 42.7% from the field.

Curry is at 23.6 and 7.8, shooting 48.3% from the field, 42.2% from three-point territory.

X factor

Thompson almost always seems to have big games against the Lakers.  The Warriors also have a do-it-all forward in Draymond Green who can defend at multiple positions, rebound, score and pass -- whatever is needed for the team.

Golden State scores 109.7 points a night while yielding just 99.5.

The Lakers give up 105.1 while managing just 98.9 offensively.

For the Lakers to have a shot, they'll need big games from guards Jeremy Lin and Wayne Ellington -- both capable scorers when they get hot.

Outlook

The Warriors won't lose another game to the Lakers -- Dec. 23 was an aberration.

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

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