for this game

Lakers face Cavaliers for second time in five days

Feb 15, 2007 - 2:38 PM Cleveland (30-22) at LA Lakers (30-23) 10:30 pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Known as the game's premier late-game finisher, Kobe Bryant has not been able to get free down the stretch recently.

Bryant and the Lakers will look to snap a four-game losing streak when they take on superstar LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

The Lakers will look to avenge a 99-90 loss at Cleveland last Sunday. Bryant scored 36 points, but could not get open in the final minutes.

Bryant had similar problems on Tuesday in a 107-106 loss to the New York Knicks. Bryant did not see the ball on the Lakers' final possession as Lamar Odom launched an airball at the buzzer.

James scored just 18 points on Sunday vs. the Lakers. But the less-heralded Sasha Pavlovic stepped up and netted 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

The Cavs had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 99-98 loss at Utah on Wednesday. Larry Hughes scored 33 points and James added 23 for Cleveland. Pavlovic missed a 40-foot 3-pointer in the final seconds.

With Detroit's loss to San Antonio on Wednesday, the Cavaliers remained 2 1/2 games behind the Pistons for first place in the Central Division and the top overall record in the Eastern Conference.