Jordan Hill to start tonight vs. Philadelphia

Jordan Hill will start at center when the Lakers (13-17) host the Philadelphia 76ers (8-21) tonight at Staples Center.

Pau Gasol will miss his third game in the past five contests because of an upper respiratory infection, while Chris Kaman will come off the bench after sprained his left ankle in the Lakers’ loss Friday to Utah.

Hill has started in 16 games, averaging 10.8 points on 56.8 percent shooting and 8.5 rebounds in 23.8 minutes. But Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has preferred playing Hill off the bench out of concern that he burns out with fatigue.

“He’s an energy guy,” D’Antoni said. “I think his best position is coming in and giving us spurts. You have to do what you have to do. He’ll perform well. We won’t keep him out there a long time where he has to play heavy minutes.”

If not for Kaman just coming off an ankle injury, he would have started. Against Utah, Kaman posted 17 points and 10 rebounds. But D’Antoni said Kaman will come off the bench ahead of Robert Sacre both so he can get in a rhythm off his tender ankle and because of Gasol’s absence.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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