NBA Game Preview and Odds at YouWager: Lakers vs. Celtics

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics

Tip-off: Thursday, February 7, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET

TD Garden, Boston, MA

The Los Angeles Lakers have lost yet another key player and are now looking for some inspiration to remain positive which should come tonight when the team meets the Boston Celtics.

Now that Pau Gasol is out indefinitely and that Dwight Howard will not be suiting up for the fourth straight game, Los Angeles will look for their seventh win in eight tries when they face the surging Celtics, who have won five straight since Rajon Rondo’s season-ending injury.

As YouWager experts point out, Howard’s sore right shoulder resulting from a partially torn labrum has prevented him from playing for the team’s current three-game winning streak as the Lakers (23-26) try to get into the Western Conference NBA playoff picture.

However, Los Angeles suffered another injury setback as the 32 year-old Gasol felt a pop in his right foot during Tuesday’s 92-83 victory versus the Brooklyn Nets and was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia after an MRI in Boston on Wednesday.

Kobe Bryant, who scored 21 points against Brooklyn, has been more of a distributor during the team’s surge, though he may need to look for his shot more with both big men out. The Philadelphia native is averaging 17.4 points and 9.3 assists over the last seven games, compared to 29.2 points and 4.7 assists prior.

The Lakers are3-1 on its seven-game road trip that ends at East-leading Miami Heat on Sunday.

The Celtics (25-23) has been on a roll since Rajon Rondo suffered a torn ACL in a double-overtime loss versus the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 25. That was the last time Boston lost, as they overcame a 10-point deficit to come out victorious away from home for the first time since Rondo went down, 99-95 at Toronto on Wednesday.

Kevin Garnett scored a season-high 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Celtics had at least five players in double figures for the fourth straight game.

As the live NBA lines suggest, the Lakers have won four straight regular-season meetings in Boston, three of which were decided by one point.