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Lakers vs. Heat Preview: Kobe Bryant heads to South Beach, Lakers start back-to-back

Kobe Bryant will make what might be his last appearance in South Beach as team looks to get back on track.

Harry How/Getty Images

After getting a win in the opening game of their East Coast trip, the Los Angeles Lakers dropped a close contest to the New York Knicks and are now set to square off against an Eastern Conference contender in the Miami Heat. This is the first leg of the Lakers' first back-to-back of the season.

How the Lakers contain Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will go a long way in determining the outcome of the game. Wade is scoring 18.9 points per game and shooting 40 percent from three in just under 30 minutes per game. Bosh looks healthy after the blood clot scare last season. The Heat star is averaging 16.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

The Lakers will face another highly touted rookie in Justise Winslow. Winslow will likely come off the bench, but his two-way play could give LA fits. Expect a strong game from Winslow, especially if Byron Scott explains why the Lakers didn't draft him.

Kobe Bryant will play what could be his last game in South Beach. Bryant is having another rough season from the floor, averaging 16.5 points per game on 32 percent shooting. Kobe shot 15.8 percent in his lone outing against Miami a year ago.

Look for the younger players to have good showings in this game as all three have favorable matchups. D'Angelo Russell will face Goran Dragic, who is no defensive stopper. Jordan Clarkson will face a declining Wade and Julius Randle will draw either Bosh or Hassan Whiteside. Randle has the power to match Bosh and the quickness to take Whiteside.

Bryant against Wade is the storyline for fans. Both players represent the cream of the shooting guard crop historically and have been two of the best players in the decade. Wade is still going, but Bryant is almost at the end of the road. Can the aging Laker have one more strong game against the face of the Miami franchise?

Time: 4:30 p.m. PT


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