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New Jersey Nets At Los Angeles Lakers: Rumor Mill Churns As Nets Visit The Champs

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers will aim for their seventh consecutive win tonight when they entertain the lowly New Jersey Nets at Staples Center.

The Lakers, who will also be shooting for their seventh straight win over the Nets, are coming off a hard-fought 115-110 victory over Golden State in Oakland on Wednesday when Kobe Bryant scored 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter, and Los Angeles followed one of its easiest wins in franchise history with one of their toughest of the season.

The Lakers roared back from a 14-point deficit in the first half and withstood a barrage of three-pointers at the end of the game to earn their sixth straight win.

It came one night after Los Angeles beat Cleveland, 112-57, to set a franchise record for fewest points by an opponent in the regular season. It was the third-largest margin of victory in Los Angeles history.

Coming off that high, Pau Gasol scored 24 points and 11 rebounds in Oakland and Lamar Odom had 20 points off the bench in the win.

"We got some stops," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "They showed why they're such an explosive team."

The Nets, meanwhile, continue to plod along despite the ever-present distraction of trade rumors that have the franchise acquiring Denver All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups in a potential three-team deal.

The team dropped the opener of a four-game road trip on Wednesday in Phoenix when Steve Nash scored 10 of his 23 points in overtime as the Suns pulled away for a 118-109 victory.

Sasha Vujacic scored 19 points off the bench to lead the Nets, including a three-pointer that counted for half of their points in overtime. Devin Harris added 15 points and 15 rebounds in the setback, the team's eighth in nine games.

The Nets, who will also face the Trail Blazers and Warriors on their trek, are now a miserable 3-18 as the visitor on the season.

"Our guys played hard the whole game and we definitely gave ourselves a shot but we just fell short and that's how we have to play every game," Nets center Brook Lopez told New Jersey's website.

Next Game

New Jersey Nets
@ Los Angeles Lakers

Friday, Jan 14, 2011, 10:30 PM EST
Staples Center

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