Preview: Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Lakers are a sizable underdog tonight against the 7-2 Golden State Warriors

The Lakers (1-8) get their second try at the Golden State Warriors (7-2) on Sunday night.

The Warriors decimated the Lakers on Nov. 1, with a 127-104 home victory.  While the setting shifts to Staples Center, the Lakers are still a sizable underdog.

In their last meeting, Klay Thompson (41 points) and Stephen Curry (31) combined to score 72 points on only 37 shot attempts (64.9% from the field).

Ronnie Price will return to the lineup after sitting out Friday's loss to the San Antonio Spurs on suspension for a flagrant foul (in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans).  The Lakers are without Nick Young (thumb), Wayne Ellington (personal matter), Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg).

The Warriors will play without David Lee (hamstring). Forward Ryan Kelly, who has been nursing a tight hamstring, may return to the lineup.

Key matchup

Kobe Bryant, who has been dealing with flu-like symptoms, will draw a difficult matchup against Thompson.

On Friday, Bryant struggled with one of the worst shooting nights of his career, hitting just one of 14 shots against the Spurs to finish with nine points in the loss.

Thompson is the Warrior's leading scorer this season at 24.3 points a game while shooting 46.7% from the field and an impressive 49.1% from three-point range.

Bryant's average is slightly higher at 25.4 points, but he's shooting a career-low 35.3% from the field and 29.5% from behind the arc.

Wesley Johnson may draw the Thompson assignment, with Bryant matching up against small forward Harrison Barnes.

X factor

Jordan Hill had a big night against the Warriors in Oakland, scoring 23 points on 10-for-14 shooting.

Hill's shooting touch has evaded him in recent games -- his mid-range shot just hasn't fallen consistently.

The Lakers need support from their big men. When Hill is a prolific scorer, and shows off his capable offensive rebounding, the team has a shot to compete.

Hill will play against one of the better defensive centers in the league in Andrew Bogut.

While Bogut isn't a major scoring threat, averaging 7.4 points a game, he's a significant part of the Warriors' success this season with his defense.


The Lakers have yet to play a team with a losing record this season.  The Warriors may be one of the Lakers' toughest matchups in the league.

Look for the struggles to continue, with the Lakers losing their ninth in 10 tries.

Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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