NBA Matchup: Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers Fri. March 25, 2011 10:30 p.m. EST

This season has been a breath of fresh air for one of the most troubled NBA franchises in the league as the Los Angeles Clippers have finally gotten some hope for the future with superstar forward Blake Griffin leading the way. Along with Griffin being showcased on NBA highlight reels on a nightly basis, the Clippers have seen guard Eric Gordon step up and be their leading scorer as this team could potentially be a playoff contender in the Western Conference in the next few years.

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Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Clippers will be on the outside looking in on the playoffs once again this season as they have been unable to play consistently well throughout the NBA regular season. Even though they will miss the playoffs once again this season, the Clippers do have a chance to get some wins over some very good teams and end the year on a high note.

On Friday night, the Battle for Los Angeles will be underway once again as the Los Angeles Clippers will be the visiting team at Staples Center when they take on the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers drives t...

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This will be the fourth and final time the Clippers meet their crosstown rivals, but even though the Lakers are playing at an extremely high level this season, the other team in L.A. has been able to beat them one of the three times they played. If the Clippers can get the win on Friday night and put an end to the Lakers five-game winning streak, Blake Griffin and company will have split the season series.

Obviously, at this point in time this game is pretty meaningless to the Los Angeles Clippers as they have no chance of reaching the playoffs being 12 games back of the eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies, but this game could extremely entertaining to say the least as these two teams always battle it out when going head-to-head.

The one thing that makes this matchup really interesting coming into Friday night is that both of these teams are coming off thrilling finishing in overtime. On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers went toe-to-toe with the division rival Phoenix Suns and were taken into three overtime periods.

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Fortunately for Kobe Bryant and company, the Lakers were able to come out on top, but that extremely long game will have almost certainly taken its toll on the defending champs. With two full days to rest up and not having to travel, the Lakers should be good to go; the Clippers on the other hand might not be as ready as they went into double overtime just a day later in order to get the win over the Washington Wizards (127-119).

During this win over the Wizards, Blake Griffin had the best game of his NBA career as he recorded his first triple-double with 33 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists. Kobe Bryant had a similar performance in the Lakers win over the Suns with 42 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.

As of right now, the Los Angeles Lakers have been given the edge in this matchup with a -9.5 point spread in their favor. This is a bit too high in my opinion as I believe the Los Angeles Clippers will give the defending champs a run for their money once again.

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