The New Jersey Nets return to Newark Sunday to open a three-game home stand and try and stop their six-game losing streak. Standing in their way will be the defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers, who have gone just 5-5 over their last 10 games including an 88-84 setback to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.
The Lakers might be in the middle of an inconsistent streak, but they haven't had trouble with the Nets in quite some time. Los Angeles currently holds a five game winning streak over New Jersey, having not lost a game since 11/25/07.
They may have been successful as a team against the Nets but it hasn't been because of Kobe Bryant. The superstar has averaged just 21.8 points against the Nets in 21 career games, the lowest against any team. On the season, even with their struggles of late the Lakers 16-7 and currently lead the Pacific Division.
Aside from Bryant and his 26.4 points per game average, the Lakers are led by Pau Gasol (19.8) and Lamar Odom (15.5).
Brook Lopez leads the six-win New Jersey Nets with 19.1 points per game, while Devin Harris is contributing 16.3.
The Nets could be without both Harris and Damion James who will be game time decisions. Recently demoted Travis Outlaw is likely to stay on the bench, so if James can't go look for Stephen Graham or Quinton Ross to earn their first start of the season. Jordan Farmar would start against his former team if Harris is unable to play.
Up next for New Jersey are the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night.