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Reply To: NBA • Saturday Service Plays • 2/6/16

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Preview: L.A. Lakers At San Antonio

When: 8:30 PM ET, Saturday, February 6, 2016
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

Kobe Bryant has turned back the clock during the last three games and the Los Angeles Lakers certainly need another strong outing from the retiring veteran when they visit the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. Bryant is averaging 29.3 points during the stretch, including a season-high 38 points against Minnesota on Tuesday.

Los Angeles has won back-to-back games and can match its season-best winning streak with an upset of San Antonio. The Spurs have won 17 of their past 19 games and annihilated the Dallas Mavericks 116-90 on Friday. San Antonio built a 36-point halftime lead in the easy road win over the Mavericks and its 42-8 record matches the best 50-game start in franchise history, established by the 2010-11 squad. “I wouldn’t say it was easy,” Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge said afterward. “We had to compete and execute, do things right out there. I wouldn’t say it was easy. I thought guys played hard and competed at the highest level.”

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles), KENS (San Antonio)

ABOUT THE LAKERS (11-41): Bryant missed Friday’s practice to rest his ailing shoulder and coach Byron Scott told reporters that Bryant should be ready to go against the Spurs. Scott said Bryant’s three-game explosion — which included 27 points in Thursday’s 99-96 win at New Orleans — can be attributed to Bryant’s recently improved health. “He’s finally got his legs back. Conditioning was never an issue,” Scott told reporters. “It was just a matter of time until he started getting his legs back up under him. When you play 20 years in this league, sometimes it takes a while to get them back, and obviously right now, the last couple of weeks he seems to have everything up under him again.”

ABOUT THE SPURS (42-8): About the only person associated with San Antonio who was not overly impressed with the slaughter of the Mavericks was coach Gregg Popovich. “Every game has mistakes — you win by 30 or you lose by 30,” Popovich told reporters. “It happens to all of us. I could go watch the film and there would be all kinds of things we could improve, because it is a game of mistakes. There is never a perfect game, so it goes without saying that you can always get better.” Spurs All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard has made 20-of-33 field-goal attempts in the past two games and his 23-point effort against Dallas marked his third 20-point performance in the last four outings.


1. The Spurs are 2-0 against the Lakers this season with the victories coming by an average of 17.5 points.

2. San Antonio C Tim Duncan (knee) will miss his seventh straight game and is unlikely to play again until after the All-Star break.

3. Los Angeles G Jordan Clarkson is 16-of-27 shooting during the past two games and has scored in double digits in 20 consecutive games.

PREDICTION: Spurs 122, Lakers 95