5 things to watch: Spurs vs. Lakers


The San Antonio Spurs (58-21) visit the Los Angeles Lakers (43-37) tonight at the Staples Center to begin a two-game road trip out on the West coast. Both teams are in flux right now with the Spurs dealing with injuries to key players. For the Spurs, they will be without Boris Diaw and Manu Ginobli who are dealing with injuries and recently had a shake up to the roster as the team waived forward  Stephen Jackson. However, for the Lakers, they been dealt a bigger blow to their roster. 

Kobe Bryant will not play tonight as he possibly tore his left Achilles heel recently versus the Warriors in Los Angeles. It is a season-ending injury for Bryant and will hurt the Lakers' chances at any long postseason march. To add to the Lakers' woes, guard Steve Nash is a game-time decision since he has been dealing with hip and hamstring soreness

Tonight's matchup will be the final meeting of the regular season for the Spurs and Lakers. The Spurs hold a 2-0 lead in the series and will look to sweep the regular season series. 

In the last meeting, the Spurs won 108-105 in San Antonio. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 24 points and 6 assists while Bryant’s 27 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds led the Lakers in a losing effort.

For the Spurs, they are coming off a 108-101 win over the Kings in San Antonio. Parker led the team with 22 points and 10 assists in his return to the court after dealing with a sore neck.

For the Lakers, they are coming off a 118-116 win over the Warriors in Los Angeles. Bryant led the team with 34 points, however, in that game, he suffered a season-ending left Achilles heel injury.

And as the Spurs and Lakers get set to tangle, here are five things to watch for during tonight's contest:

• Spurs' Parker is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 20 points and 7 assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line.

• In Los Angeles, the Lakers are 5-5 in their last 10 games against San Antonio.

• The Lakers are 14-4 on the season when six players score in double figures.

• The Lakers are 8-18 when scoring under 100 points.

• The Lakers are 12-27 when trailing at halftime on the season.