Lakers @ Warriors Preview – 12/22/12

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Andrew Ross is an 19-year-old student at Delaware State University (DSU), where he is pursuing a mass communications degree, concentration convergence journalism. At DSU, Ross is a sports writer for the paper, and also has his own sports radio show on campus. Ross aspires to one day be a successful sports writer, and to possibly even have his own radio show. Make sure to follow him on Twitter @AJRoss94
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The Los Angeles Lakers (12-14) have finally gotten on a roll winning three straight games.

Saturday, the Lakers look to continue their streak of success against the west’s current fifth seed, the Golden State Warriors (18-9).

Among the Lakers’ struggles, the Warriors’ success is one of this year’s shocking stories. Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson has his team playing well on all cylinders, led by guard Stephen Curry (20PPG, 6APG) and forward David Lee (20PPG, 11RPG).

There are many questions about the Lakers’ starting line-up, and they won’t be answered until later today. Steve Nash returned to practice this week and will be a game-time decision. Although he has not ruled out playing tonight, he said Christmas day against the Knicks would be most likely.

After Tuesday’s win against the Bobcats (101-100), Mike D’Antoni brought the idea of starting Jodie Meeks, but has not made anything official.

KEY PLAYERS

Stephen Curry
Yes, another young point guard with star potential. Curry is having his best year yet, and comes in Saturday’s game scoring 59 points the last two games. Curry can hurt the Lakers in many ways by his ability to attack, and his lights-out shooting (44% from three). Look for Curry to have a great game.

Dwight Howard
The Warriors are playing like a very good team, but they still don’t have a very good option at the center position. Howard will have rookie center Festus Ezeli guarding him on Saturday. Ezeli is recently coming off a knee injury, and on the season is only averaging three points, four rebounds, and one block a game. Howard still doesn’t look 100%, but is still having a phenomenal season with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks a game. Howard could be in for a big game.

KEY TO A LAKERS’ VICTORY

“Killer Instinct”
What makes elite teams elite is the ability to see when you have your opponent on the ropes so you can land the knock-out punch. The Lakers have lost games they shouldn’t have lost this year by building leads, and then playing without a purpose rather than finishing off their opponent. The Warriors are a good team so the Lakers must dominant to the finish instead of floating to the end. If they do not do that, it will be very difficult to beat this Golden State team.

PROJECTED LINE-UPS

Los Angeles Lakers:
PG: Chris Duhon
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Devin Ebanks
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Dwight Howard

Golden State Warriors:
PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Harrison Barnes
PF: David Lee
C: Festus Ezeli

The game starts at 7:30pm PST on TWC SportsNet.

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