Steve Nash’s hamstring, hip issues to keep him out against Dallas

Steve Nash will miss his second consecutive game when the Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks tonight at Staples Center because of a strained right hamstring and a right hip spasm that hasn’t fully healed.

Lakers coach Mike D”Antoni still maintained there’s “a chance” Nash will play Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“Every day it’s getting better, but he’s not quite ready to go yet,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “His hamstrings are strained and he feels something. Until he doesn’t feel anything, he can’t play.”

Steve Blake will start at the point guard spot for the second consecutive game. In the Lakers’ 103-98 win Saturday over the Sacramento Kings, Blake posted 15 points on 5 of 8 shooting from 3-point range.

“He can play,” Lakers center Dwight Howard said. “He’s a great passer, great shooter and fun to play with.”

The Lakers (38-36) will need more of that. They trail the Utah Jazz (39-36) by a 1/2 game for the eighth playoff spot with seven games remaining. The Lakers also only have a 1 1/2 game lead over the Mavericks (36-37) for ninth place in the Western Conference.

The Lakers will miss Nash’s presence for obvious reasons, what with his pick-and-roll execution, passing and outside shooting touch. But the Lakers have gone 8-14 this season when Nash, Howard, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol played together.

“So We’re lucky to have somebody hurt,” D’Antoni said with a chuckle. “Is that what you’re saying?”

Not quite.

But it reveals how the Lakers’ overlapping injuries this season have contributed to a lack of continuity, affecting even four future Hall of Famers.

“It takes time,” Howard said. “It doesn’t happen over night. We’ve been hit with a lot of adversity this year. We’re trying to overcome that. We can’t focus on the negatives on the games we lost together. We have to think about all the positives where we’re all healthy.”

For yet another game, the Lakers won’t have that luxury.

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