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Lakers Practice Report: Kobe's Slump, Clippers and All-Star Game

The Lakers' practice ahead of Thursday's game against the Clippers game was full of discussion about Kobe Bryant's shooting slump and the upcoming All-Star Game.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers has been in a bad shooting slump on 3-pointers, but the shooting guard denied he had any problem during Wednesday's practice.

    Following an ugly win over the worst team in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers practiced at their El Segundo facility on Wednesday. The Lakers have only one game before the All-Star break, but their opponents, the Los Angeles Clippers, provide plenty of motivation.

    With regards to injuries, Earl Clark, who is suffering from a sore right foot, practiced and said he felt some pain. However, Clark was clear that he would not miss any time due to the ailment.

    Lakers Kobe Bryant & Shaq Friends

    [LA] Kobe Bryant, Shaq's Sidekick
    This Lakers video was shot at Staples Center at the locker of Kobe Bryant on Feb. 12, 2013. (Published Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013)

    With regards to Thursday’s "Battle for Los Angeles," the Lakers and Clippers both returned home following an extended road trip. The Lakers’ 4-3 road record narrowly trumped the Clippers’ 4-4 mark during the Grammy Awards' takeover of Los Angeles. 

    However, the Clippers got Chris Paul back from injury, and they rattled off two impressive blowout victories in New York and in Philadelphia to cap off the trip. The Clippers also play at home on Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets, so the Lakers will catch their city rivals on the second night of a back-to-back.

    Kobe Bryant Talks About Win Against Phoenix Suns

    [LA] Kobe Bryant Post-Game: Lakers vs Suns
    This video was shot at Kobe Bryant's locker following the Lakers' 91-85 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 12, 2013. (Published Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013)

    With the All-Star break looming, both teams will likely have difficulty focusing for the duration of the game.

    Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard leave for Houston after the game to take part in the All-Star Game weekend festivities. Both Lakers’ superstars are starters for the Western Conference. The Clippers also supply two starters for the Western Conference, as Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were both voted in by the fans.

    Dwight Howard Lakers Practice - Feb. 11. 2013

    [LA] Dwight Howard at Lakers Practice
    This video was shot in El Segundo, Ca at the Los Angeles Lakers' practice facility on Feb. 11, 2013. (Published Monday, Feb 11, 2013)

    "It’s pretty crazy," Bryant responded when asked about Los Angeles providing four All-Stars to the Sunday exhibition game. "It’s gotta be exciting for LA to have that kind of talent."

    Bryant’s effort and production have been deserving of a trip to Houston, but the Lakers’ shooting guard has been in a bit of a slump as of late. Bryant was 1-8 against the Suns on Tuesday, but his recent shooting struggles are magnified from behind the arc.

    After shooting 0-4 against Phoenix, he is now one for his last 30 from three-point land. 

    "I’m not in a slump," Bryant said at Wednesday’s practice. "I just haven’t shot it."

    That’s not entirely true.

    Bryant has averaged 2.55 three-point shots per game over the last nine games. Also, he’s taken more than one shot from distance in seven of the last nine games. Kobe may not be shooting as much, but he is missing far more often. 

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