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PER Diem: Jan. 13, 2009

The Rockets-Lakers matchup on Tuesday will go down as the battle of the injury-plagued teams.

Updated: January 13, 2009, 3:57 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- Welcome to The Grind.

This is the part of the season nobody likes to talk about. The part where your 10th man might play as big a role as your highest-paid player. The part where health is a relative term. The part where your depth is as likely to determine your fate as your stars.

When Houston takes on the Lakers on Tuesday in a showdown of two of the West's powerhouses, it will be no different from every other game I've seen this month -- at least one key ...

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