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Sunday, December 29, 2013
Pau Gasol out with infection

By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Pau Gasol will miss his second straight game with an upper respiratory infection when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night, coach Mike D'Antoni said following shootaround Sunday morning.

Center Chris Kaman, who started in Gasol's place during L.A.'s 105-103 loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday, was able to participate in shootaround with a moderate left ankle sprain. D'Antoni said Kaman's participation was "encouraging" and said later Sunday that Jordan Hill will start, with Kaman coming off the bench.

It will be the third time in the Lakers' last five games that Gasol will sit out with the respiratory condition after starting the season playing in the first 26 games. Gasol also suffered from a respiratory infection in the beginning of the season, but was able to play through it. Gasol, the league's seventh-highest paid player making $19.3 million this season, earns approximately $175,325 every game whether he plays or not.

The 13-year veteran is averaging 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds on a career-low 44.6 percent shooting this year.

D'Antoni said he expected Gasol to be back in the lineup Tuesday when the Lakers host the Milwaukee Bucks on New Year's Eve.

"He's feeling a lot better, he feels better," D'Antoni said. "I would think next game he would be ready to go."

Hill had 16 points and 9 rebounds in 23 minutes against Utah. It will be the Lakers' 16th different starting lineup through their first 31 games.

L.A. comes into the match-up with Philadelphia on a season-high four-game losing streak.

"We just got to get a little bit of a swagger back and we can start this week," said D'Antoni, looking ahead to L.A.'s four-game home stand that starts Sunday. "We need to."