Friday night will witness a game between two LA sides - one struggling without their superstar, and the other just going about their business despite the absence of their best player.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 10.30 pm ET (9 am IST) start with live coverage on ESPN and Sony Six in the US and India respectively. The game can be caught via live streaming online in the US HERE, while international viewers can do the same HERE.
When the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers take court in the NBA at the Staples Center, one team will clearly walk in with a lot more confidence.
The Clippers (25-13) have won two straight games since premier point guard Chris Paul was ruled out for the next six weeks with a separated shoulder.
Blake Griffin stepped up brilliantly in Paul's absence against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, scoring 29 points while dishing out 8 assists in a 111-105 win.
"I'm very encouraged," coach Doc Rivers said of playing without Paul in the lineup. "There're some things we have to clean up. I need to do a better job figuring out the second unit.
"I've got to keep a couple stars on with both groups. With Chris out, and J.J. [Redick], it changes a little bit. Whenever you sub now, the guys you're usually subbing are already in. I thought they didn't have enough scoring in that one stretch in the second quarter, and I thought that hurt us."
Rivers plans to bank on Griffin, with Paul missing, and the ex-Celtics coach, who picked up his second win against his former side on Wednesday, believes the big man does not need to change too many things.
"Blake just needs to be Blake," Rivers added. "He doesn't need to change at all. Blake's been great, we've just got to make sure we get him the ball in the right spots, but we haven't changed much.
"We threw it to Blake at the elbows a little bit more because he's such a great passer, and at times, it's really nice when your big is your facilitator because there's no other help guy. But other than that, I don't want anybody to do anything different."
For the Lakers (14-22), things have not looked so rosy after Bryant's second injury-enforced absence, with the Los Angeles team losing nine of their last ten games, while allowing a massive 108.9 points per game. The Lakers are also averaging over 15 turnovers per game, a vital factor, according the coach Mike D'Antoni, for the team's struggles.
"That's probably the No. 1 factor in why we're losing," D'Antoni said. "We're giving up between 25-35 points every game on points off turnovers. When we get half-court defense set, we're in the top half [of the league defensively].
"We're 30th in points in transition [allowed], we're 30th in second-chance points. Those are two things that are killing us."