LOS ANGELES, Calif.–The Los Angeles Lakers will receive their rings for winning the 2009-2010 NBA championship at Staples Center tonight and raise a banner emblematic of their 16th title, then begin their quest for a third consecutive championship by facing the Houston Rockets.

“This is the crowning moment of winning the championship,” Laker forward Lamar Odom said.

Winning on the night they receive their rings has proven problematic for the Lakers, who are 2-2 in their last four ring nights, including a 99-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers last season.

“You’ve got to refocus real quick,” center Pau Gasol said. “I’ve seen some games after the ring ceremony where the champion has paid that price.”

To coach Phil Jackson, the emotions of the ring ceremony are different from the emotions of playing a game.

“It’s about thinking about last year and about the teammates that you had on that team and about the effort that went into winning a championship, so you’ve got to divorce yourself from that when that’s done,” Jackson said.

The Lakers are “as prepared as we can be at this particular time,” Jackson said.

Starting center Andrew Bynum will be sidelined indefinitely as he recovers from off-season surgery on his right knee, while all-star guard Kobe Bryant is also coming off surgery on his right knee that is expected to reduce his playing time at the start of the season. Forward Luke Walton will miss tonight’s game because of a strained right hamstring.

The Lakers return nine players from last year’s team. They added three free agents–forward Matt Barnes, guard Steve Blake and center Theo Ratliff–and both their second-round draft choices, forwards Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks, made the roster.

Tonight’s game will be the first official NBA game for Houston center Yao Ming since he broke a bone in his left foot in a playoff game against the Lakers on May 8, 2009. He is expected to be limited to 24 minutes of playing time.