LAKERS AT SAN ANTONIO: Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. PDT. TV: Channel 9, NBA League Pass.
This is the first of three games in 10 days between the Western Conference powers, a sort of miniseries prelude to the playoffs.
The Lakers may have to win all three games to overtake the surging Spurs for the No. 2 spot in the conference, though Kobe Bryant was almost defiant when asked if his team was locked into the No. 3 seeding. "Yeah, we have no shot at getting the second one," he said flatly.
This will be Mike Brown's first game against former mentor Gregg Popovich since becoming Lakers coach.
Count the fact that the first meeting of the season between these longtime rivals comes in mid-April as another one of the quirks of the lockout-shortened season. But in a matter of days they should be quite familiar with one another.