No Kobe when Lakers meet Blazers

( - The Portland Trail Blazers will try to get back into the win column Monday night when they welcome the under-manned Los Angeles Lakers to the Moda Center.

The Blazers, who own the second-best record in the NBA, had a four-game winning streak snapped last time out, a 115-107 home loss Saturday to the Atlanta Hawks.

Seven Atlanta players scored in double figures and the Blazers couldn't cool off the league's hottest team. The Hawks shot 51.2 percent from the field and ended Portland's seven-game home winning streak.

Portland got 30 points and 12 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge in its first game since Dec. 30. Damian Lillard posted 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Wesley Matthews managed 19 in the loss and Nicolas Batum scored 16. Dorell Wright added 10 off the bench, but the Blazers were outscored in the paint, 64-38.

"I think we could have played better, but you have to credit Atlanta for playing a very efficient game on both ends of the court," Portland coach Terry Stotts said.

Blazers big man Joel Freeland left the game in the fourth quarter with a right shoulder injury. He had been starting for the injured Robin Lopez, but will be out two weeks. Meyers Leonard is expected to start in his place.

Portland will host the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic on this seven-game homestand.

The Lakers will be without Kobe Bryant on Monday as head coach Byron Scott announced the future Hall of Famer would sit prior to Sunday's 88-87 home win over the Indiana Pacers.

Bryant's go-ahead bucket with 12.4 seconds remaining lifted the Lakers to victory. Bryant, who scored LA's final nine points, spun into the paint and nailed his one-handed push shot to put the Lakers in front. Roy Hibbert hit the top of the backboard on his desperation heave at the buzzer from the top of the key at the other end.

Bryant finished with 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals, while Nick Young netted 22 points off the bench for the Lakers, who have won two of their last three games.

"It feels good. It always feels good to win close games," said Bryant.

Lakers forward Wesley Johnson sustained a strained right hip flexor in the win and won't make the trip to Portland. He will undergo an MRI on Monday.

These two teams will meet Sunday in Los Angeles.

The Lakers have won four of the last six meetings between the teams, including two straight in Portland.