76ers-Lakers Preview

The losses have been piling up for the banged-up Los Angeles

Lakers, even at home.

Hosting the league’s worst road team may be just what they need

to turn things around.

Los Angeles tries to end a season-high four-game losing streak

Sunday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Lakers (13-17) have lost four straight overall and four of

five at home, beset by injury yet again. Already without the likes

of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Steve Blake, Los Angeles was sans

Pau Gasol on Friday at Utah due to respiratory infection, which

coach Mike D’Antoni said will also make him a game-time decision

Sunday.

Los Angeles came up short against Utah, losing 105-103 after

Derrick Favors’ putback dunk with 2.1 seconds remaining. Jodie

Meeks missed a 3-pointer as time expired.

Chris Kaman will also be a game-time decision due to an ankle

injury after scoring a season-high 19 in Gasol’s place against the

Jazz.

D’Antoni said confidence has been the missing ingredient for his

team lately.

“We had it rolling for a while. We got knocked back on our heels

with a couple of injuries,” he said. “But we need to win one and

we’ll build from there. But I think we’re close and they’re giving

all they got.

“We’re scrambling a little bit, but in the meantime these guys

have played with focus and purpose. We feel like we’re ready to

turn the corner.”

The 76ers (8-21) have struggled on the road all season. They won

at Washington in their first road game on Nov. 1 but have since

dropped all 13 contests away from home.

They were without Evan Turner due to a sore right knee Saturday

in Phoenix, and although Thaddeus Young scored 30 and Michael

Carter-Williams added 27 they still fell 115-101. Turner, who

averages a team-high 19.3 points, is expected to play Sunday in the

third stop on a six-game trip.

“I think I might have aggravated it the past couple days in

practice maybe,” said Turner, who missed his first game this

season. “I think coach was just being precautionary. I was going to

try to play tonight but he thought it’d be a better idea for me to

play tomorrow and take it from there as opposed to playing

catch-up.”

Turner’s presence Sunday, however, might not necessarily help

alleviate Philadelphia’s issues. On the road, the 76ers are

allowing teams to shoot 48.1 percent, with opponents scoring at

least 102 points in regulation in all but one contest.

They surrendered 31 fast-break points against the Suns and are

giving up an average of 18.4 per road game.

“We’re not going to win games giving up 30 fast-break points,”

Carter-Williams said. “So we’ve got to get back on mistakes, and

that starts with me getting back and when I get back, that leads

everyone else getting back.”

Lakers guard Nick Young will play against his former team for

the first time after averaging 10.6 points in 59 games for

Philadelphia last season. He’s averaging 20.9 points over his last

seven games while going 20 for 42 from 3-point range. He scored

14.4 per game in the previous 23 contests while shooting 34.8

percent from beyond the arc.