Lakers Look to Snap 6 Game Skid Against Celtics Print
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Friday, 23 February 2007 08:00
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NBA Basketball: Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers - Lakers Favored

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Phil Jackson is suffering through his longest losing streak in 16 years as a head coach in the NBA.

Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers will look to snap their skid when they host the Boston Celtics on Friday.

Oddsmakers have made Los Angeles -7 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 209 total points (View NBA Sports Books).

Los Angeles (30-25) lost 112-108 to Portland on Wednesday to extend its losing streak to six games, Jackson's longest ever and the Lakers' longest since they closed out the 2004-05 season with six consecutive defeats. They haven't lost seven in a row since an eight-game skid in March 2005.

Kobe Bryant had 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists Wednesday, while Maurice Evans matched his career high with 23 points for the Lakers. Portland, though, shot 59.7 percent from the floor - the second-highest shooting percentage against Los Angeles this season - to hand the Lakers their fifth consecutive home loss.

"I think we deserve it," Jackson said. "We had a little bad luck with our injury situation, but we have not outplayed people, played harder than people. We have made mistakes in situations, which I told them was a pattern to almost all our losses we can see starting to emerge."

Los Angeles, shooting just 42.1 percent from the floor in its last six games, has lost 12 of 16 to fall to sixth place in the Western Conference.

The Lakers will look to get back in the win column against a Boston team that is familiar with losing streaks.

The Celtics (13-40) lost a franchise-record 18 in a row before beating Milwaukee on Feb. 14. They have dropped 20 of 21 overall, and own the worst record in the league.

Boston fell 118-108 at Phoenix on Wednesday, its 10th consecutive loss on the road. The Celtics cut a 14-point deficit to three midway through the fourth quarter, but the Suns pulled away with a 15-6 run.

"I loved their effort," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Honestly, we played a team that's better than us. Having said that, I thought we had the opportunity to win the game."

Al Jefferson had 23 points and 17 rebounds for his fifth double-double in his last six games. Paul Pierce added 24 points and is averaging 27.8 in his last four contests.

In their last three games, the Celtics have made 34 3-pointers and are shooting 59.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Boston's 10-game road losing streak is its longest since 1999, while the Lakers' five-game home skid is their longest since 2005. Los Angeles hasn't lost more than five consecutive home games in a single season since March 1993.

Bryant scored 43 points and made seven 3-pointers to lead the Lakers to a 111-98 win at Boston on Jan. 31. The Lakers have scored at least 100 points in their last eight games against the Celtics, going 6-2 in that stretch.

Los Angeles has won five of its last seven home games against Boston.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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