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With 4 guards out, Lakers start Goudelock, Morris

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LOS ANGELES (AP)

Andrew Goudelock knows he's no Kobe Bryant, and Darius Morris realizes he can't compare to Steve Nash.

But those two unknown guards are all the Los Angeles Lakers have got right now.

With the Lakers' top four guards sidelined by injuries, Goudelock and Morris were in the starting lineup for Game 3 of their first-round playoff series with San Antonio on Friday night.

The Lakers' unlikely lineup included Goudelock, called up 12 days ago from the NBA's D-League, and Morris, who has barely played all season for Los Angeles. Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace also were in a starting five that had never started together as the Lakers attempted to avoid an 0-3 hole against the Spurs.

Coach Mike D'Antoni had no choice but to start two of his three remaining healthy guards.

''We're playing inside out, so they've just got to be themselves,'' D'Antoni said. ''Get the ball inside, hit open shots, and they can do that. Darius has got to do a great job on (Tony) Parker, play hard, and our two bigs have got to dominate.''

A season filled with injuries has become ridiculous for the Lakers, who ruled out Nash (strained right hamstring) and Jodie Meeks (sprained left ankle) shortly before game time. Steve Blake (strained right hamstring) and Bryant (torn left Achilles tendon) already were on the sideline.

Nine of the Lakers' 15 players are featured on their injury report. World Peace was in the starting lineup after having fluid drained from a cyst behind his left knee earlier Friday.

The Lakers' starting backcourt at the beginning of the season had a combined three MVP awards. Friday's starters have only one - Goudelock's award earlier this week from the D-League, an award he didn't know about until he got it.

''There's no pressure on me at all,'' said Goudelock, who played exactly 6 minutes for the Lakers this season, all in the regular-season finale. ''Nobody expects anything out of me. They know I can play. I've just got to go out there and do it.''

Goudelock played 40 games for the Lakers last season, earning the nickname ''Mini Mamba'' for his scoring exploits, but never finding a regular role. Los Angeles cut him in training camp this season, and he averaged 21.1 points and 5.2 assists for two teams in the D-League.

Goudelock's parents flew in from Atlanta to catch his first playoff starts when it became increasingly obvious he would have to play extensively even though he doesn't know all of D'Antoni's offensive sets. Mike Brown was the Lakers' coach last season and in last fall's training camp.

''I know most of the plays,'' Goudelock said with a grin. ''If they run a play, I know it.''

Morris is the nominal point guard, ''just because he knows the plays,'' D'Antoni said. ''It's a lot better when you hold up `1,' that you actually run it.''

Bryant was at Staples Center on Friday after watching the Lakers' final two regular-season games at home, motoring through the locker room on crutches with his foot in a large protective boot. He didn't immediately join his teammates at courtside.

Tagged: Lakers, Metta World Peace, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant

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