Los Angeles Lakers at Washington Wizards
Tuesday, 12/14/10, 7:00 PM EDT
Opening Point Spread: Los Angeles -10
Current Betting Line: Los Angeles -10
Opening Total: 204
Current Total: 204
Los Angeles has been barely surviving of late on the court and bounced back from a loss in Chicago with a less-than-enthusiastic 99-92 win over the New Jersey Nets on Sunday. “We have to muster up the energy and muster up the motivation to play every night,” said guard Kobe Bryant. “I’m annoyed about it. We’re not doing a good job of doing it.” The Lakers might get a shot in the arm with the return of center Andrew Bynum to the lineup for the first time this season, which would help freshen an overworked Pau Gasol in the middle of the lineup. “We’re not putting anything on it until after we get through practice,” said head coach Phil Jackson. The team is 17-7 overall on the year and 7-5 on the road. Los Angeles is 10-14 ATS on the year and currently a double-digit road favorite on the NBA lines page.
The Lakers currently lead the season series with Washington 1-0, after sweeping last season’s series for the third consecutive year. Los Angeles tallied a 115-108 win in the first meeting of the season at the Staples Center, with Bryant scoring a game-high 32 points and Gasol pitching in with 21 points. Tuesday’s game is the first of a back-to-back set with the Wizards and Pacers. This season, the Lakers are 3-1 in the first game and 3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs.
Washington continues to falter this season in dropping four straight games and eight of nine, which has caused coach Flip Saunders to start speaking out publicly. “We came back in L.A. because we played heard,” he stated. “We’re at a point right now because our talent level is not up to the team’s we’re playing, we’re just going to have to play harder than people.” The Wizards are 6-4 overall at home this season, including a perfect 3-0 versus the Western Conference. Guard Gilbert Arenas will need to provide a lift in possibly pulling off an upset, as he’s averaged 25.3 points in 80 career games during the month of December, his highest scoring average during any month of his career. Washington is 5-5 ATS at home this season.
The Wizards have placed an injury status of questionable on point guard John Wall for tonight’s game, as he sat out Wednesday’s 116-91 loss to Sacramento with a foot injury. He had 22 points and a career-best 14 assists against the Lakers last week, which makes it imperative that the rookie star is in the lineup tonight. Another key player in tonight’s contest is Washington’s Nick Young, who is averaging 18.3 points while shooting 54.2 percent from the field in six career games against the Lakers.
Bettors will be interested in the Lakers being 0-6 ATS on the road, while the Wizards are 4-1 ATS as a home underdog.
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