•  The Lakers will host the Clippers tonight at Staples Center in game that’s important for both teams playoff positioning, but the initial pre-game questions focused on Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who is reportedly hospitalized with an unknown form of cancer. Of interest to reporters, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni revealed he has never met Buss, who has passed on day-to-day operations of the club to his children, Jim and Jeanie. Buss has been the primary owner of the team since 1979, winning 10 of its 16 championships under his ownership.
  • A win by the Clippers would give them their first four-game series victory against the Lakers since 1974-75, when they were known as the Buffalo Braves. They went 4-0 against L.A. that season. The Clippers won a five-game series, 3-2, against the Lakers in 1992-93. Five times they’ve split a four-game series. The Clippers are 100% healthy after being without Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill for long stretches this season, and missing Chris Paul for nine games recently. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro praised his training staff before the game, a group that has dealt with its own serious injury. Jasen Powell, the team trainer, ruptured his Achilles tendon earlier this month while playing a pick-up game of basketball.
  • Lakers points guard Steve Nash is three points shy of 17,000 for his career. He would become the fourth player in NBA history with at least 17,000 points and 10,000 assists and the second-highest career scorer among the group (14.4) behind Magic Johnson (19.5). Nash has struggled to find chemistry with his new team, particularly L.A.’s other offseason acquisition, center Dwight Howard. Before the game, D’Antoni had this to say about the team’s chemistry. “I don’t think they’re all going on a retreat this weekend, but it’s good.”

–Dan Arritt

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