The battle for Los Angeles takes place tonight as the Lakers host the Clippers, their city and division rival, at the STAPLES Center. Tip off in this evening's Pacific Division showdown is scheduled for 10:30pm ET. NBA Odds have the Lakers listed as a -10.5 against the spread home favorite; the game total is set at 194.5.
The Clippers, like many teams around the league, enter this evening's game with a new look roster. Los Angeles shipped guard Baron Davis to Cleveland shortly before the trade deadline in exchange for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.
A change could do the Clippers good as they have dropped nine of their last 11 games. L.A.'s latest slip came on Wednesday night in New Orleans, when it lost 87-98 to the Hornets to fall to 21-37 on the season.
Blake Griffin continued his assault on the league, posting 21 points and 13 rebounds, but only two other Clippers reached double figures in scoring (Randy Foye – 15, Chris Kaman – 14) in the loss.
The Lakers, which dropped three straight before the All Star break, won their second game in a row on Wednesday, beating the Trail Blazers 106-101 in overtime at the Rose Garden.
Kobe Bryant, who garnered All Star game MVP honors over the weekend, recorded 37 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in the come from behind win. Ron Artest added 24 points while Pau Gasol notched a double double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
The victory improved Los Angeles' record to 40-19 and kept their Pacific Division lead at 10 games over the second place Suns.
Tonight's game marks the third meeting of the season between these two rivals. The Lakers won the first contest 87-86 in early December, but the Clippers returned the favor with a 99-92 win on January 16th. Eric Gordon, who has missed the Clippers last 15 games, scored 30 points in the win. Griffin added 18 points and 15 rebounds.
Los Angeles Clippers +10.5 (-110), Over 194.5 (-110), +500 (Moneyline)
Los Angeles Lakers -10.5 (-110), Under 194.5 (-110), -700 (Moneyline)