Our event of the day is the NBA fixture between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Lakers are 4th in the Western Conference with the Clippers just behind them in 5th. Both teams are enjoying strong seasons, however, the Lakers most likely will be missing their star player, LeBron James, as they face a rival who has dominated the recent history between the two sides. Be sure you don’t miss what is sure to be an exciting night in Los Angeles. Santa was certainly good to the Lakers. Under the tree on Christmas Day, they found a statement win over the Warriors, snapping a seven game losing streak against their in-state rivals and telling the NBA that they were a team who intended to seriously compete this season. The win put them at 20-14, a very strong record in what has proven to be an incredibly competitive Western Conference, where only 4.5 games separates 1st and 10th place. The competitiveness of their conference should worry the Lakers after LeBron James left the Warriors’ game nursing a groin injury. While a subsequent medical examination showed no major cause for concern, James is likely to miss some playing time to ensure that the injury isn’t exacerbated.
Outside of LeBron, the Lakers certainly aren’t bad but they will suffer as any team missing its star would. On the other hand, the LA Clippers have built a well-rounded team that is fighting hard in the same competitive conference. Tobias Harris, Montrezl Harrell, Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams have guided their team to a 20-14 record as they look to return to the playoffs after missing out last year. Most recently, they survived a 4th quarter collapse to outlast the Sacramento Kings 127-118. This match is indicative of the struggles the Clippers have faced this month, having won 5 of 12 during December. To remain in contention for a higher playoff seed, and potentially avoiding a first round match-up against a team like the Warriors, the Clippers need to find their early season form once again. In recent seasons, the Clippers have done well against the Lakers, winning 17 of their last 20 matches against their in-city rivals. The Lakers versus the Clippers rarely fails to entertain so be sure you don’t miss this game between these city rivals.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to international cricket, where South Africa and Pakistan play the third day of the first Test between the two sides at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Yesterday, Pakistan opened the batting on the second inning with a solid performance, given the match situation, going into lunch 100/3. However, they massively struggled in the afternoon session and were bowled out for 190. Today, they look to defend a 148 run lead against a South African side that scored 223 in the first inning. Be sure you don’t miss what is expected to be a thrilling day of cricket. Elsewhere, in college football, 20th ranked Syracuse faces 16th ranked West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The World Darts Championship continues at Alexandra Palace in London. In the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets host the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus. In Pro14 rugby, Connacht host Munster at the Galway Sportsgrounds.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NBA
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