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  • Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will be back in the starting lineup when the Lakers host the Wizards tonight at Staples Center. Bryant, the league’s third-leading scorer at 27.1, sat out the last 11 quarters after spraining his left ankle late in a four-point loss March 13 in Atlanta. Gasol has missed the last 20 games because of a right foot injury. Gasol, who was coming off the bench when he was hurt Feb. 5 in Brooklyn, will replace Earl Clark in the starting lineup. Clark, who had four double-doubles in January and five in February, has just one this month. Because of injuries, Bryant, Gasol, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard have been available in the same game only 17 times this season, with a record of 6-11 in those contests, including 0-5 when all four are in the starting lineup.
  • The Wizards will be without starting center Emeka Okafor, top reserve Bradley Beal and back-up point guard A.J. Price. Okafor will miss his second consecutive game with the flu, and Jason Collins will make his second consecutive start at center. Okafor averages 9.7 points and a team-high 8.9 rebounds. Beal, a rookie guard who is averaging 13.9 points off the bench, reinjured his left ankle during Wednesday’s victory in Phoenix. The same injury caused him to miss six games earlier this month. Price, who’s averaging 7.1 points and four assists off the bench, is dealing with a sore right groin.

– Dan Arritt

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