Lakers Vs. Buck: Preview

Last time the Lakers played the Bucks, LA stuttered down the stretch, went to overtime and lost the game.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks meet on Friday night at Staples Center, as the Lakers look to avenge an overtime loss from earlier in the month.

After missing the win over Utah, Nick Young's status was officially upgraded to "questionable" as the natural scorer continues to battle a swollen knee. Based on prior practices, Young likely will not see the court until his coach is comfortable watching the player participate in practice. 

Apart from Young, the Lakers have 10 healthy bodies for the remainder of the season, and all 10 of them should be available to play on Friday night. Lakers' coach Byron Scott confirmed that he will stick with the same starting five that led the Lakers to consecutive victories: Jordan Clarkson, Wayne Ellington, Ryan Kelly, Carlos Boozer and Robert Sacre.

If the Lakers can win on Friday night, they will match their longest winning streak of the season. The only other time the Lakers won three games in a row, Kobe Bryant capped off the third victory by passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list.

Over two months later, the Lakers look to match the modest feat of winning three consecutive games during the course of an 82-game season.

After doing final preparations with the team on Friday morning, Scott talked with and touched on three players in particular: Wesley Johnson, Jeremy Lin and Clarkson.

Following the benching against Brooklyn, Johnson came back and scored 22 points, which was a season high, against the Celtics. Scott joked that he should bench the lanky wing player every other game.

"If I do that every other game, he'll probably average about 20 [points]," Scott laughed.

On the topic of Lin, Scott said that he thought the 26-year-old point guard played better in a backup role than a starting role.

"I think he's responded better of the bench, to be honest with you," Scott said of Lin. "But I think there's going to be a point in time with these last 20-something games to go that I'll put him back in the starting lineup just to see how that goes."

Scott added, "[Lin] hasn't started in a while, so you almost tend to forget his body of work--those 15-20 games when he did start. So, I want to go back to that just to see how that looks, but I think he's been better off the bench for us over all."

On the subject of Clarkson, asked Scott if he thought the rookie point guard needed to work more on his distribution or scoring.

"He has a natural instinct to score," Scott said of Clarkson. "Trying to help him to see the floor a little bit better, to see the situations a little bit better, to read defenses a little bit better are all the things we're trying to do now."

Scott said the game is still probably too fast for the rookie, but he is showing improvement and learning to control the pace. With regards to calling plays, Scott said that he still calls 75 percent of the plays from the bench, but he would like to see that number drop to 50 percent by the end of the season.

Clarkson, Lin and Johnson should all see extended time when the Lakers take on the Bucks at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

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