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Lakers vs. Warriors Preview: Battle against the best of the West

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Los Angeles finishes its back-to-back of conference leaders against Laker-killer Klay Thompson and the Warriors

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There is no rest for the weary in Los Angeles. A day after playing the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Lakers get to take on the league's best team: the Golden State Warriors. Despite losing to the Lakers in the two teams' most recent meeting back in December, the Warriors have thoroughly owned the matchup with their Pacific Division brethren over the last two seasons, winning five of seven games by an average of 22.2 points.

In addition to the great team success Golden State has had against Los Angeles, Klay Thompson in particular has shown great pleasure in beating up the team that employs his father Mychal as a radio color commentator. Thompson has set his career high in points three times against the Lakers, including a 41-point effort on Nov. 1 this season. His average of 21.1 points per game against the purple and gold is his second highest against any team for his career.

The Lakers have been playing better as of late, posting a -1.9 differential since the All-Star break that compares favorably to their -6.1 differential for the season. The bench, led by Jeremy Lin and Ed Davis, is actually outscoring opponents during that stretch, and new D-League call-up Jabari Brown will get to enjoy his first NBA game in his hometown when he's not chasing after the younger Splash Brother.

Nevertheless, the Warriors own the league's best record for a reason, and as Saturday's thumping of the New York Knicks proved, Golden State can be downright cruel against teams that can't defend the three. Enjoy the game and what should be a few GIF-able moments from the NBA's best team.

Time: 7:30 p.m. PT

Station: ESPN