Lakers’ Kendall Marshall in the spirit of rivalry

first_img“It’s still going to be exciting,” Lakers forward Nick Young said, mindful of the Clippers covering up the Lakers’ championship banners during home games. “That’s the battle of L.A. That’s still one of the games that if we win, the fans will look past us losing.”Change of paceThe Lakers usually rest after playing back-to-back games, but coach Mike D’Antoni held practice on Thursday in hopes of mitigating any frustration stemmed from losing. “We can’t let ourselves drag down,” forward Pau Gasol said. “With us coming in today with a positive mind-set toward working … we’ll prepare ourselves mentally.” The biggest focus involved reducing turnovers, which D’Antoni cited as “the number one factor why we’re losing.” The Lakers rank 25th out of 30 teams in turnovers (25.5) and last in fast-break points allowed (17.8). The Lakers appear backed in their own end zone. They lack protection and face too large of a lead to overcome.That didn’t stop Lakers guard Kendall Marshall from throwing a desperation pass to his best friend Reggie Bullock, a Clippers rookie and former North Carolina teammate.“I’ve already guaranteed a win to him,” Marshall said for when the Lakers (14-22) play in a designated road home against the Clippers (25-13) tonight at Staples Center. “I also told him that if he ever guards me, I might go for 30 (points).The latter scenario won’t happen. Bullock has remained sidelined with an ankle injury since early December, and it doesn’t appear the former scenario will unfold even without Clippers guard Chris Paul (right shoulder). The Lakers have lost nine of their past 10 games with an injury-plagued roster that hardly resemble the team that shocked the Clippers on opening night. Injury updateFor the first time since tearing his left hamstring nine days ago, guard Jordan Farmar spent the end of Thursday’s practice taking stationary shots.Assistant coach Johnny Davis worked with Farmar on various drills, including free throws, baseline jumpers and bank shots without lifting his legs. Farmar is expected to sit out for at least another three weeks. Farmar had strained another part of his hamstring earlier this season, which kept him out for 3 1/2 weeks.RecountKobe Bryant’s plea for fans not to vote for him while healing his fractured left knee hasn’t worked. The third return of the NBA All-Star ballot shows Bryant leading the Western Conference backcourt with 844,538 votes. Bryant could return in time for what would make his 16th All-Star appearance on Feb. 16 in New Orleans. If he can’t play, NBA Commissioner David Stern would select a replacement. UnpluggedD’Antoni provided a few zingers on various topics.Whether the Lakers will find light at the end of the tunnel: “There is a light. But there could be a train coming.”On the Lakers’ struggles: “The national anthem is really jinxing us. Every time they play it, we don’t play well.”On Farmar’s rehab: “He’s worthless. I want him back, but right now he’s worthless.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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