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I expect Lotus to be very competitive at Barcelona

LOS ANGELES – Injuries keep cropping up for the Los Angeles Lakers. London Fletcher Jersey . If theres a positive aspect, it might be the opportunity presented to Sasha Vujacic. Vujacic, a 23-year-old guard from Slovenia, scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter Tuesday night, and the Lakers rallied for a 120-109 victory over the New York Knicks to snap a season-high three-game losing streak. Kobe Bryant had 24 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and Lamar Odom added 22 points and 12 rebounds, but it was Vujacic who provided the Lakers what they needed down the stretch. “Hes continued to work hard. Hes been diligent at it,” Bryant said. “It seems his time has come.” Then, Bryant added with a smile: “He was a 12:30 guy for a while.” Bryant referred to Vujacics difficulty carrying over his accurate shooting in practice to when it counted at night in the games. “He can make shots,” said Derek Fisher, who scored 17 points. “Even when hes struggled making shots, everybody knows thats his strength. It was great seeing him make shots. He had an impact at the defensive end as well.” The Lakers trailed 100-91 when Vujacic made a pair of three-pointers to get them going. A jumper by Bryant with 5:07 left snapped a 104-104 tie and put Los Angeles (28-15) ahead for good. Zach Randolphs basket with 3:10 left drew the Knicks within two points before the Lakers scored the next 10 points to clinch the victory. “Our lack of execution down the stretch, particularly the last five, six minutes of the game, we just totally lost all composure,” Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. Lakers forward Luke Walton came out of the game for good late in the first quarter with a right hip pointer and is day-to-day. He joined centres Andrew Bynum (left knee) and Chris Mihm (right ankle bursitis) and forward Trevor Ariza (broken right foot) on the sidelines. “(Vujacic) has a big opportunity now with Kobe moving to the small forward a lot of the time because were undermanned,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “He was effective out there all the way through both offensively and defensively.” Vujacic, a first-round draft pick of the Lakers in 2004, entered with a 6.5-point average in 32 games. “Everybody loves to play,” Vujacic said. “My moment has arrived here with the Lakers. Unfortunately, its because of injuries. Ronny Turiaf added 14 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots, and Kwame Brown had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who are 13-0 when at least six players score in double figures. “Defence was a hope and a prayer for the first three quarters for us tonight, but we found a way to defend a little bit at the end of the game,” Jackson said. Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson led New York (14-30) with 22 points each. David Lee had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Randolph added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks, who had won five of their previous eight games. “We just made a couple of bad defensive plays toward the end,” Randolph said. “Kobe stepped up, hit big shots found open guys and played big. We couldnt stop them at the end. Theyve got great options and great shooters from the outside. Theyve put great players around him.” The game was the final one for the Lakers before they begin a nine-game road trip Thursday night in Detroit – their longest trip in the NBAs modern era. Eddy Curry was limited to 10 1/2 first-half minutes because of foul trouble, and picked up his fifth just 71 seconds into the third quarter. A frustrated Bryant picked up a technical foul shortly thereafter, and Crawfords foul shot gave the Knicks a 66-60 lead. That seemed to get Bryant going. He had only four points at that stage, but scored 11 during the remainder of the third quarter, which ended with the Knicks on top 87-85. Curry finished with 10 points while playing a little over 16 minutes. “Its always tough to lose a player of Eddys calibre because he changed so much for us,” Crawford said. “We lost control of the game. Kobe took it up another notch, got his teammates involved, and those guys did a good job of making shots.” Notes: The Knicks have lost 11 straight road games to Western Conference opponents since beating the Lakers 107-106 nearly a year ago on a dunk by Curry with 7.1 seconds left. .. The Lakers next game at Staples Center will be Feb. 19 against Atlanta. Theyll travel a total of 8,173 miles on their long road trip, which finishes Feb. 13 at Minnesota. .. Bryant had 39 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the Lakers 95-90 victory at New York last month. .. Noted Knicks fan Spike Lee attended the game.   John Kuhn Jersey . The UFC said a date and venue for the bout will be announced later. Lombard (31-2) is a former Cuban Olympic judo competitor, who is unbeaten in his last 25 MMA fights.Vincent Jackson Jersey . The Angels made the roster moves on Thursday ahead of their series opener in Seattle. Pauley had appeared in just four games since his contract was purchased from Salt Lake on May 7. Charles Johnson Jersey . — Houstons bench was doing so well that it allowed coach Kevin McHale the luxury of resting his starters on the front end of a back-to-back. Ryan Kalil Jersey . Savage used an expletive in his response to the fan, who criticized the GM in several e-mail exchanges. “It happened after the game,” Savage in an e-mail to The Associated Press. Jason Pierre-Paul Jersey . Montreals Chantal Petitclerc accepted a position with U.K. Athletics on Monday for the upcoming 2012 Paralympic Games in London.MADRID, Spain — Formula One leader Sebastian Vettel is among several drivers who are keeping expectations in check for the Spanish Grand Prix, although local favourite Fernando Alonso is hoping the first race in Europe can revitalize Ferraris campaign. Vettel, the two-time defending world champion, went top of the standings for the first time with his victory in Bahrain last month. McLaren pair Lewis Hamilton and teammate Mark Webber are in the Germans rearview mirror, in second and third place. Four different winners in the first four races has given the season its most unpredictable start for 30 years, but the Catalunya Circuit has a history of rewarding qualifying performances, with the 10 champions before Vettels victory in 2011 winning from pole position. “A car that functions well aerodynamically in Barcelona will work everywhere, so it will be an interesting weekend. We have been working on the package for Barcelona at this weeks test, but we will still have set-up work to do there on arrival,” said Vettel, who edged Hamilton for the victory last year after Webber started first on the grid. Hamilton is looking to rebound from an eighth-place finish in Bahrain following three straight third places, with Barcelona one of the few tracks the 2008 champion has yet to win at. “Our performance at Barcelona during winter testing looked promising but the form of the season is still very hard to read, so its difficult to predict wholl be at the front next weekend,” Hamilton, who trails Vettel by four points, said. “I think we have a comparatively stronger car this year, so I hope we can have another strong race.” Alonsos 2006 victory here for Renault was one of the two-time champions most memorable, and the Spanish driver is looking to harness something extra from one of two home races on the season. Alonso won in Malaysia but has since finished seventh and niinth to slip 10 points behind Vettel alongside McLarens Jenson Button. Jimmy Graham Jersey. “In Montmelo, we will be counting on making a step forward, but we wont know until Saturday if we have, and if so, how big a step it is,” Alonso said. “Clearly, having limited the damage in the first four races this year, we must turn things around.” Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is adamant the team needs to turn the season around in Barcelona, even though there are still 15 races to go after Spain, including eight more in Europe. Tires have also been a topic of discussion going into Barcelona after Michael Schumacher said drivers skill was being negated by the ever-changing Pirelli tires, which made it feel like your driving on “raw eggs.” “Barcelona is a track we have driven extensively on, and this is why we know that its characteristics do not exactly play fully into our hands,” the Mercedes driver said. Like Ferrari, Mercedes will be looking for a boost after failing to follow up Nico Rosbergs victory in China at Bahrain. Rosberg, who is 18 points behind Vettel, was fifth in Bahrain and Schumacher — still without a podium in the third year of his comeback — was 10th. The seven-time F1 champion has just two points so far. Lotus will also be looking to capitalize off of Kimi Raikkonens second-place finish in Bahrain, which put the Finnish driver one point behind Rosberg. The 2007 world champion is one of the few who was not mum on his chances at a track where he has won twice before. “I expect Lotus to be very competitive at Barcelona. Its going to be very, very close between the top teams,” Raikkonen said. “All the teams have updates for the first European race, which makes it even more interesting and even tighter at the top.” Qualifying for Sundays 66-lap race is on Saturday after practice, which begins on Friday. ‘ ‘ ‘