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Lakers

Preview: Lakers draw quick rematch against Memphis Grizzlies

Matt Barnes, Julius Randle, JaMychal Green

Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes, left, works to control the ball against Lakers forward Julius Randle (30) during the first half of a game on Feb. 24 as forward JaMychal Green looks on.

(Brandon Dill / Associated Press)

The Lakers (11-48) have a chance to end a seven-game losing streak, hosting a quick rematch against the Memphis Grizzlies (33-23) on Friday night at Staples Center.

The two teams met Wednesday in Memphis. The normally offensively challenged Grizzlies scored 128 points against the Lakers, reaching at least 30 points in every quarter.

After losing center Marc Gasol for the season because of a broken foot, the Grizzlies are fighting to hold onto their position in the Western Conference standings -- currently in fifth ahead of the Dallas Mavericks (30-28) by four games.

The Lakers are well established as the bottom team in the West, 3 1/2 games back of the Phoenix Suns (14-44).

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Memphis will also play without Jordan Adams, while Tony Allen is a game-time decision, both because of knee injuries.

Key matchup

Forward Matt Barnes, a former Laker, sparked the Grizzlies on Wednesday, scoring 25 points while making five of his nine shots from three-point range.

Barnes is still a feisty defender, likely matching up against All-Star Kobe Bryant.

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In Memphis, Bryant was relatively quiet, scoring 13 points while missing nine of 14 shots. The Lakers can’t really afford for Bryant to be outpaced by Barnes by 12 points.

For the season, Barnes is averaging just 9.0 points a night while hitting 33.9% from three-point range.

X-factor

The Lakers also had trouble defending point guard Mike Conley, who scored 24 points and had eight assists.

The Grizzlies had six players in double figures, including P.J. Hairston (17 points), Brandan Wright (15), Zach Randolph (14) and JaMychal Green (12).

Memphis recently traded guard Courtney Lee and forward Jeff Green, but against the Lakers they coasted to a relatively easy win.

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Offensively, the Lakers saw rookie guard D’Angelo Russell score 22 points with eight assists and one turnover. Second-year guard Jordan Clarkson led the team with 28 points while veteran Lou Williams added 22 off the bench.

Outlook

The Lakers have looked sharper offensively in recent games, but the team’s defense is a significant issue, enough to once again make the Grizzlies the favorite.

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

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