NBA All-Star Game on NBC: ‘We’re going to go for it!’
A potential repeat of the NBA All Star Game was on the table Thursday, but the timing was less than ideal.
The Lakers and Kings are set to play Thursday in the NBA Finals, with both teams coming off losses.
If either team beats the other, it would be the second time the two franchises have faced off in a championship series since the 1960s.
It’s also the first time since the 2002 season that the two have faced each other in the Finals.
The last time the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers faced each one was the 2012 Eastern Conference finals, when they went to Game 7 of the Finals with LeBron James in tow.
The Lakers have had some issues in the postseason, particularly in their first round loss to the New York Knicks.
Kobe Bryant led the way for the Lakers with 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
But it wasn’t until the Lakers faced the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday that they got their chance to show some life, as Bryant and the rest of the team led the Lakers to a 103-96 victory.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said his team had no idea how they would have fared against the Pelicans on Wednesday night.
“We had no clue,” he said.
“I think that was the only thing that we could do, was to play our best basketball.”
D’Antony said he’s looking forward to the rematch in Las Vegas, which is expected to be a rematch of the 2011 NBA Finals between the Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers.
“If we win, we’re in,” he told the Los Angles Times.
“The Clippers won that game, but they’re not going to win this game.”
The Kings have won six straight games, and their win streak was snapped Thursday night when they lost 101-93 to the Chicago Bulls.
Los Angeles was playing without DeMarcus Cousins, who is expected back from a concussion.
Cousins played with a sore right knee and missed practice Wednesday.
“He played some good basketball.
It was nice to see him,” coach Mike Malone said.
Kings center DeMarcus Ware had 14 points and nine rebounds for his second double-double in as many games.
The Kings are 1-5 when he’s scored at least 10 points.
Kings forward DeMarcus Cousin, who had 16 points and seven rebounds in his previous two games, scored 13 for the Hornets.
The Clippers and Lakers will meet again on Feb. 22 in Las Vegas, but it’s not expected to happen in the same conference finals.
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