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No Nash for Lakers; Goudelock, Morris to start, try and be unlikely heroes

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LOS ANGELES — The virtual worst-case scenario has become the Lakers reality.

No Kobe Bryant No Steve Nash (two epidurals, one cortisone shot). No Steve Blake. No Jodie Meeks.

Mike D’Antoni made it official pregame: Your Lakers starting backcourt is Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris. They will bring Chris Duhon off the bench.

By the way, Metta World Peace was in the locker room after getting his knee drained in the last 24 hours, but it’s safe to say he moved stiffly.

How does Mike D’Antoni deal with what he called an “over the top” string of injuries?

“As a coach you sleep like a baby — every 15 minutes you wake up and cry,” D’Antoni said.

Goudelock will be honored by the Lakers before the game — the guy known as a gunner around the team was named NBA D-League MVP this season for his play with Sioux Falls.

In the Lakers locker room, surrounded by the kind of media scrum that usually is reserved for Dwight Howard or World Peace, Goudelock talked about trying to grab the moment.

“(D’Antoni told me) Just play, which I was going to do anyway,” Goudelock said. “Just go out there and hoop, don’t worry about anything…

“(Kobe Bryant) says his choice words. He just told me to go out there and play, he knows I can play so go out there and do it… then he talked about, he saw me play the other day and gave some advice on guarding against Tony Parker.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he really had not even seen a scouting report on the Lakers young stars, but fortunately other guys knew them. His point was not to have his players let down because he expects Goudelock and Morris to go hard. Then again, the Spurs should have figured that out after Kobe went down and the Lakers kept coming hard.

The Lakers problem is they are just overmatched.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.

DeMarre Carroll shoves Isaiah Thomas to ground on break, tempers flare

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Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.

With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.

Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.

Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.

Seth Curry puts up career high 31 against Timberwolves (VIDEO)

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When Stephen Curry wore a headband through the All-Star Game last weekend, West coach Steve Kerr jokingly called him “Seth” all night.

Dallas’ Seth Curry came out of the week-long break playing like an All-Star. He dropped 31 on the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, a career high for him. He hit 13-of-17 from the field, including three from beyond the arc, but did a lot of his damage in the midrange.

It wasn’t enough, the Timberwolves got a comfortable 97-84 win behind 27 points from Andrew Wiggins and 26 from Karl-Anthony Towns. Nerlens Noel was not yet with his new team in time to play for the Mavs in this game.