Preview: Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers

The Lakers look to bounce back from a loss to Memphis with a victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday

The Lakers (10-23) hope to avenge a 110-91 December loss in Indiana, hosting the Pacers (13-21) on Sunday night at Staples Center.

The 19-point losing margin doesn't even reflect how badly the Lakers were beaten.

The Pacers won't have George Hill (groin), C.J. Watson (foot) is questionable and Paul George (leg) is out for the season.

The Lakers are still without Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg).

Key matchup

Rodney Stuckey had a huge night for the Pacers in December, nearing a triple-double against the Lakers with 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Given his season averages of 11.8, 3.6 and 3.0, respectively -- the Lakers can't let the 6-foot-5 guard explode for another big night.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 21 points on eight for 26 shooting.  The veteran has purposefully looked to play more of a team game over the last few games, after sitting out three to rest his 36-year-old body.

The Pacers don't have a great record but they're scrappy.  Bryant can't beat Indiana by himself - a greater focus on team ball has been a better look for the Lakers.

X-factor

The Lakers also have to deal with the Indiana tandem of Roy Hibbert and David West.

Injuries have derailed the Pacers' season to date, but Hibbert and West were a major part of Indiana's deep playoff runs the past couple of years.

West is averaging 7.7 points and 6.8 rebounds a game this season.  Hibbert is at 11.2 and 6.7.

The Lakers need strong performances from starters Ed Davis and Jordan Hill, along with Carlos Boozer, Robert Sacre, Ryan Kelly and possibly Tarik Black off the bench.

Davis, in particular, has emerged as both a steady defender and scorer for the Lakers.  Hill has struggled a bit over the past month.

Outlook

So far this week, the Lakers won in Denver and lost at home to the Memphis Grizzlies, but they were competitive in defeat.

The rematch against the Pacers should go the Lakers way, but not without a great challenge from Indiana.

Twitter: @EricPincus

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