LOS ANGELES, Calif.--The Los Angeles Lakers will face the Denver Nuggets Saturday night in their first game at Staples Center since winning their second consecutive NBA championship in June.
The exhibition game will mark the Staples Center debuts of three players the team signed as free agents during the off-season--forward Matt Barnes, guard Steve Blake and center Theo Ratliff--and their two second-round draft choices, forwards Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks.
The Los Angeles Lakers Shootout will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz.
The Shootout will conclude Sunday with the Lakers playing at 7:30 p.m. against an opponent determined by Saturday's results. If the Lakers defeat Denver, they would face the winner of the game between the Clippers and Utah, while a Lakers loss to the Nuggets would mean they would play the loser of the Clippers-Jazz game.
The Shootout is customarily the best chance for the public to see the Lakers play a home game at Staples Center.
While the team has sold out its past 188 regular-season and playoff home games, including all of the past three seasons, tickets remain available at all price levels for both nights, according to John Black, the Lakers' vice president of public relations.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he "will stretch some of the starters'' so their playing time approaches the team-high 30 minutes center Pau Gasol played in Wednesday's 98-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings in Las Vegas.
"The second night it will be a little bit of a feel for them in back-to-back games, but they'll be able to judge what they'll have to do,'' Jackson said.