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Looking ahead to next week's featured NBA game

The West-leading Lakers and the East-leading Cavaliers meet Thursday in Cleveland, a rematch of the Christmas Day game at Staples Center won by the Cavs.

January 17, 2010|By Mark Heisler


Thursday, 5 p.m.; TV: TNT

For the defending-champion Lakers, who dominate their conference, only a few games stand out and this is one.

Another is their game at Boston, which is at the end of this eight-game, 11-day trip with three back-to-backs.

The Lakers assured everyone the Cavaliers weren't rivals before their game on Christmas. Whatever the Cavaliers were, they rocked the Lakers' world in a 102-87 romp, now known as the Foam Finger Game.

Once again atop the East, the Cavaliers look only modestly upgraded with Shaquille O'Neal starting in Zydrunas Ilgauskas' place and Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon instead of Sasha Pavlovic and Wally Szczerbiak.

Aside from LeBron James, whose joyful leadership recalls Magic Johnson's, it's hard to figure out how the Cavaliers do it. Somehow, as the Lakers know, it gets done.

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