Spurs, Lakers renew rivalry in Hollywood

( - A pair of storied franchises clash Friday night in Hollywood, as the Los Angeles Lakers welcome the defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs to Staples Center.

The Lakers shocked the basketball world by defeating the rival Clippers on Tuesday, but dropped a 125-94 decision at Golden State the next night. Playing without future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant (Achilles), the Lakers couldn't slow down the Warriors, who were led by Klay Thompson's 38 points and David Lee's 24. The Warriors were 15-of-27 from 3-point range.

Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry each had 14 points, while Pau Gasol and Jordan Farmar scored 12 points apiece for the Lakers, who made 39.3 percent from the field.

"Growing pains," Meeks said of the setback. "We have a lot of young guys on this team, myself included. They're going to happen."

Meeks replaced Steve Nash in the lineup and announced during the preseason that he will occasionally sit out the second game of a back-to-back this season. Nash will turn 40 in February.

Los Angeles will face a stiff challenge Friday versus the Spurs, a squad that defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 101-94 on Wednesday. The Spurs used a 30-7 advantage in the second quarter and fended off the Grizz in the fourth quarter. They were led by Boris Diaw's and Kawhi Leonard's 14 points.

Spurs forward Tim Duncan left the contest early in the third with a chest contusion and did not return. He had three points and six rebounds, and is listed as doubtful against L.A.

"He had spasms in his shoulder and his neck. It looks like his chest is bruised. He caught an elbow, so it kind of affected from his chest up through his neck at some time or another," Spurs head coach Greg Popovich said.

Tony Parker had 13 points and nine assists in victory.

San Antonio won two of three meetings with the Lakers last season and is 7-4 in the previous 11 encounters. The Spurs, though, have lost six of the past 10 as the visitor in this series.