Lakers Try to Shake Loss

A recent visit from an old interconference rival didn't go so well for the Los Angeles Lakers. They're hoping a game against another Eastern Conference nemesis turns out better.

The Lakers look to bounce back from their worst home loss of the season on Friday when they host the Philadelphia 76ers.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Los Angeles –7.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 199.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 86% of bets for this game have been placed on Los Angeles –7.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Los Angeles (19-11) had won four straight and 10 of 12 before a 110-91 loss to the NBA-best Boston Celtics on Sunday. The Lakers wore short shorts and throwback uniforms, a reminder of their three NBA finals matchups with Boston in the mid-1980s. The "Showtime" Lakers took two of those series, but couldn't stay close with the 2007-08 Celtics, who held Los Angeles to a season-worst 35.4 shooting percentage from the field.

"We just came out flat. We didn't have energy out there," center Andrew Bynum said. "It started in shoot-around, guys didn't really take it too seriously. We have to come out there with more energy than that."

Los Angeles will try to rebound against Philadelphia, a team the Lakers also faced in three NBA finals in the 1980s, winning twice. They beat the Sixers 106-101 on the road Dec. 21, when Bynum scored 24 points to lead four Lakers with at least 19.

This time, though, the Lakers will be without their second-leading scorer and rebounder. Lamar Odom, who's averaging 14.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, was suspended for one game without pay after committing a flagrant foul on Boston's Ray Allen on Sunday.

The Lakers' frontcourt is already missing Chris Mihm, who will miss three to four weeks due to ankle inflammation. They may also be without Vladimir Radmanovic, who twisted his ankle during practice on Thursday and is questionable for this contest.

That means more of the scoring load will fall on Kobe Bryant, the league's second-leading scorer at 27.1 ppg. He's averaging 32.5 points over his last four games and has averaged 33.0 in his last four against the Sixers. Bryant, however, was held to 19 while shooting 6-for-20 from the field during the Lakers' visit to Philadelphia two weeks ago.

While no one will confuse this year's version of the Sixers (14-18) with their dominant teams of a quarter-century ago, Philadelphia has won four of six since its loss to the Lakers, and is 2-2 so far on its six-game road trip against Western Conference teams.

Despite posting their second-highest point total of the season, the Sixers lost 110-107 at Utah on Wednesday. Philadelphia's 93.5-point average is among the five lowest in the NBA.

While his team has struggled to score, Andre Iguodala hasn't. The swingman is averaging 24.3 points in the Sixers' last six games

"Andre's been playing this way. Shooting his jump shot a little better, getting to the basket more, just doing things like that,'' 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said.

Iguodala had one of his most productive games as a pro against Los Angeles on March 9, scoring 31 and grabbing 8 rebounds in a 108-92 Philadelphia win. That victory was the only one for the Sixers in their last four meetings with the Lakers.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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