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Lakers to play Suns with depleted frontline

January 10, 2012 |  7:01 pm

The Lakers enter tonight's game against the Phoenix Suns with questions that go beyond Kobe Bryant's physical status or the team's familiarity with Coach Mike Brown's offense.

The Lakers will play without reserve forwards Josh McRoberts, Jason Kapono and Troy Murphy. McRoberts will miss his fifth consecutive game because of a sprained left big toe. Murphy has gastroenteritis, which prevented him from attending the morning shoot-around. And Brown gave Kapono approval to miss the game after his wife, Ashley, gave birth to twin girls, Isla and Campbell -- Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Brown said he "might" give Luke Walton, Metta World Peace and Devin Ebanks time at power forward, but remained coy about his plans.

"I'll probably give Luke the first crack," Brown said. "But I'm not sure yet."

His refusal to share specifics prompted Times columnist T.J. Simers to question his reason for remaining vague, which led to an interesting revelation.

"Most of my basketball thoughts are in the shower," Brown said, "and when I was in the shower, I thought about those three guys. That doesn't sound right."

He then stared into the camera above and said, "Cut, take 2."

Nonetheless, it appears Brown won't have to remain coy regarding his frontline reserve rotation for too much longer. McRoberts plans to travel with the team tonight for its game Wednesday at Utah, though it's undetermined whether he will play. Kapono plans to play against the Jazz. And though Murphy won't travel with the team, he may take a commercial flight Wednesday morning if he feels better. 

--Mark Medina

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