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Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol probable to start against Wizards tonight

March 22, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • A playoff matchup between Kobe Bryant (24) and the Lakers against Andre Iguodala and the Nuggets would favor Denver, according to former Lakers great Jerry West.
A playoff matchup between Kobe Bryant (24) and the Lakers against Andre… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

According to Kobe Bryant's Twitter feed, the Lakers All-Star guard is probable for the Lakers' battle at Staples Center Friday night against the Washington Wizards.

A Lakers spokesman confirmed that Pau Gasol and Bryant are probable to start against the Wizards.  Gasol has missed more than six weeks with a foot injury.  Bryant has been out for almost three full games with a sprained ankle. 

Gasol would get the nod over Earl Clark at power forward.

Coach Mike D'Antoni initially expressed concern about Gasol's conditioning after so much time off and considered using him off the bench for a few games.  D'Antoni, though, prefers to start Gasol, despite benching him earlier in the season for Clark.

It's likely that Gasol will start with his playing time closely monitored until his conditioning improves.

The Utah Jazz are playing in San Antonio on Friday as well.  A Lakers (36-33) victory coupled with a Utah (34-34) loss would put the Lakers 2 1/2 games ahead of the ninth-place Jazz.

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Gasol and Bryant scrimmage Thursday, will play Friday, D'Antoni says

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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