NETS GAMENIGHT: #Lakers @ #Nets – Black Mamba Hits Brooklyn – No HOWARD or MWP

Updated: February 5, 2013


Los Angeles Lakers (22-26) @ Brooklyn Nets (28-19)

Barclays Center 7:30


The Los Angeles Lakers (7-16 on the road) make their lone appearance in Brooklyn tonight to face the well rested Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center. Knowing that Dwight Howard will be in town is cause for a media blitz for sure but may not be as bad as expected as Howard is likely not going to play. That won’t stop the everyone from bantering every trade possibility and take all quotes out of context from his ESPN interview with Stephen A. Smith last night.

The Lakers are starting to play better basketball as of late and are looking to turn a corner and find their way to some consistency. The Lakers have won two out of the first three game son this current seven game road trip. The last time the Nets played the Lakers in November, a 102-100 loss, they were a much different team and the Nets know that tonight will be a battle to defend home-court.

[quote_box]P.J.- Well, when we played them … [Mike had] just gotten there,they’re much more comfortable with the system. They’re playing really well. I think there’s no question that they’re not just playing better recently, but they’re also continuing to improve. It’s not like they’ve plateaued and they’re playing as well as they can play. I’m sure there is more room for them to continue to get better, and that will be a problem for everybody.[/quote_box]

The Nets are coming off Friday’s 93-89 home win over short-handed Chicago Bulls in a game they almost let slip away until the bench seized the game in the fourth with a 20-0 run. The Bench Mob will be extremely important tonight to keep the game at the pace the Nets want and build from the last game. The Nets are 10-3 when the Bench Mob scores 35 points or more in a game.

CJ Watson and MarShon Brooks both tweaked their ankles in the last three days off in practice so that will affect the benches numbers if they can’t go.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME: Kobe Bryant vs Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson has struggled since he return to Atlanta mid-January and has only reached the 20 point mark one time in his last eight games. Johnson’s numbers across the board have taken a hit as his rebounds and assists are both down along with his minutes. Johnson will have to turn it up and be a focal point in the offense tonight as the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, will be right across from him wanting to continue his new role as a distributor/scorer. Bryant can turn it up at any time as the world has seen for years so Johnson has quite a task for him tonight.

The Lakers have beaten the Nets seven straight times going into tonight’s game.

STAT FOR TONIGHT: Deron Williams is seven assists shy of 5,000 for his career and will likely reach that milestone tonight.


Tornike Shengelia (concussion symptoms) out indefinitely

CJ Watson (left ankle) is a game-time decision

Jerry Stackhouse (stiff neck) is a game-time decision

MarShon Brooks (ankle) is a game-time decision


Dwight Howard (torn labrum, right shoulder)) is OUT

Metta World Peace (suspended) is OUT

Steve Blake (abdominal surgery) is probable

Jordan Hill (left hip surgery) is out


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