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Pau Gasol will miss his second straight game tonight versus 76ers

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The two-time NBA champion will miss his third game in the team's last five with an upper respiratory infection

USA TODAY Sports

Pau Gasol will again sit out tonight against the 76ers with an upper respiratory infection. The illness has dogged the Spaniard for over a week now, costing him games in Golden State, Utah and now at home versus Philadelphia. He did play in Phoenix last Monday as well as on Christmas day against Miami, throwing up a double-double in the latter.

The Lakers have lost both games in which Gasol has sat out and four straight overall. This will leave LA extremely short-handed, as has been the usual all season long. Rookie Ryan Kelly will most likely be pressed into service again to fill minutes in the front court.

Either Robert Sacre or Jordan Hill will start in Gasol's stead, though both may be in the game's opening rotation if Chris Kaman (ankle--game-time decision) sits out as well. True the Lakers are facing arguably the league's worst road team, but without Gasol, Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Kobe Bryant, Pau's absence will continue to hurt a sliding Lakers squad.

--MAMBINO

--Follow this author @TheGreatMambino