The LA Lakers have had to deal with losing streaks and off-the-court controversies this year, but now are faced with something entirely different. The Lakers now have to deal with an injury to Kobe Bryant when they host the Orlando Magic.
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Kobe Bryant suffered a sprained ankle and is status is unknown heading into this game. With Bryant’s status clouded, the Lakers look for their 10th win in 11 games when they face the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
Los Angeles followed Thursday’s 94-88 loss at Miami with a 96-91 win at Dallas two nights later to pull within one-half game of the Mavericks for second place in the Western Conference.
The Lakers appeared to be dealt a severe blow late in the third quarter Saturday when Bryant came down awkwardly on his left ankle after having a shot blocked. He remained on the floor in pain before exiting the game, but he returned in the fourth quarter and finished with 16 points.
Bryant is averaging 29.9 points over the last 11 meetings with Orlando, including the 2009 NBA Finals, which Los Angeles won in five games with Bryant earning MVP.
Los Angeles’ 22-8 home record ranks third in the conference, and the team has won three in a row there by an average of 15.0 points while holding opponents to 38.1 percent shooting.
The Lakers have also won 19 of 23 home meetings with the Magic, including a 98-92 victory in the most recent matchup there Jan. 18, 2010. They fell 89-75 at Orlando on Feb. 13, making 2 of 16 3-pointers while Bryant was held to 17 points.
The Magic are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games against a team with a winning record and the Lakers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Regardless of the status of Bryant, the Lakers should easy beat a road weary Magic team.
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