TV: League Pass

  • After leaving Sunday’s game against the visiting Bulls with yet another injury, Lakers point guard Steve Nash will be back in the starting lineup tonight when L.A. hosts the Jazz at Staples Center. Nash was kneed in the left leg by Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich in the third quarter of the 92-86 win by the Bulls and departed not long after because of nerve irritation in the leg and tightness in his back. Nash was appearing in just his third game after missing nearly three months with the same type of nerve root irritation that affected both his back and hamstrings. The Lakers have the 40-year-old Nash under contract for one more season. 
  • The Lakers, who come in a half-game ahead of the Jazz for 13th in the Western Conference, will make a couple more tweaks to their starting lineup with Chris Kaman stepping in for Robert Sacre at center and Shawne Williams at power forward for rookie Ryan Kelly. Kaman is coming off a season-high 27 points against the Bulls and the Lakers sorely need some offensive punch with five of their top six scorers sidelined with injuries. Pau Gasol, the team’s leading scorer at 17 points, continues to be sidelined with a groin strain, as well as Kobe Bryant (knee), Nick Young (knee), Jodie Meeks (ankle) and Xavier Henry (knee). The only available player averaging double figures for L.A. is back-up point guard Kendall Marshall (10.3), who started the season in the D-League before he was acquired during L.A.’s rash of point guard injuries this winter. 
  • The Jazz will be trying to build off their most impressive win of the season, knocking off the two-time defending champion Heat on Saturday in Utah. Marvin Williams is currently playing his best basketball of the season, scoring at least 21 points in the last three games. What’s given Williams the edge has been his perimeter shooting. He has shot 11-for-19 from beyond the arc during his hot streak, including 5-for-8 in each of the last two games. One of the reasons Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni is sliding the 6-9 Shawne Williams into the starting lineup is he’s a better perimeter defender than Kelly against a veteran stretch 4 like Marvin Williams. Shawne Williams was signed out of the D-League just five days ago because of injuries.

Dan Arritt

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