Bresnahan's take

Staff writer Mike Bresnahan ties up some loose ends before Lakers playoff games.

Q&A; of the day

Question: I read The Times online from Toronto every day and have just a couple questions. Is this the year for a guy to make the trip to L.A. for the Finals? And, besides Staples Center, where's the best place to catch a game?

-- Cory Beatty

Answer: Hold off on those travel plans. If Kobe Bryant's back flares up again and the Lakers lose tonight, their season could easily end Friday in Utah. But if you've already made reservations, don't worry. There's a pro beach volleyball tournament at Hermosa Beach in early June. Also, make sure to grab breakfast on the back lawn at the Getty Center. Or go hiking at Topanga State Park, followed by lunch at the Reel Inn on PCH. The setting is picnic-table rustic, but the grilled halibut is phenomenal.

Worst-case Lakers scenario

Obvious, no? The Lakers lose a third consecutive game and go back to Utah as startling underdogs.

Best-case Lakers scenario

Bryant's back holds up, Derek Fisher goes more than three minutes without getting in foul trouble and the Lakers regain control of the series.

Final thought

No comment. After picking the Lakers to eke out victories in both games in Utah, I've sent myself to the penalty box for Game 5.

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