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04/06/12 10:00 PM ET

Magic vs. Kemp? LA slugger is ready

SAN DIEGO -- It might have to happen over the dead body of incoming CEO Stan Kasten, what with the injury exclusion clauses in today's contracts.

But the mythical one-on-one hoop challenge concocted in the Dodgers clubhouse has been further fueled by incoming part-owner Magic Johnson's response in the Los Angeles Times that, once the season is over, he'd take outfielder Matt Kemp, 15-7, and shortstop Dee Gordon, 15-3.

"He won't beat me by that much -- if he beats me," replied Kemp. "It's much easier to play basketball than baseball. Most basketball players, that's the only sport they play. Baseball players play other sports."

Johnson, 52, also referred to Kemp, 27, as the Kobe Bryant of the Dodgers.

"That's kind of cool," said Kemp.

Gordon, 24 later this month, was more deferential to Johnson, choosing his words carefully, especially when asked if he thinks he can beat Johnson.

"I'm not going there," he said. "He signs my checks, so let him have it, but I don't agree. I'd get at least five."

'Weak' Kershaw hopes to return Tuesday

SAN DIEGO -- Clayton Kershaw, who left his Opening Day start for the Dodgers Thursday after three innings because of the flu, said he was feeling better Friday and was "pretty sure" he would be up to starting the home opener Tuesday.

Kershaw's regular schedule calls for a bullpen session on Saturday, but he said he wasn't sure if he'll be up to it.

"Play it by ear," he said. "I don't feel queasy, but a little weak. I'll try to eat something and go from there."

Kershaw threw up repeatedly on Thursday before warming up, during warmups and after he was removed, which occurred after manager Don Mattingly saw Kershaw lying on the floor in the tunnel leading from the dugout to the clubhouse.

Still looking drained and answering questions while sitting at his locker, Kershaw said he suspected his illness was the flu and not food poisoning, but either way he was incapacitated.

"I felt pretty bad, but I knew I needed to try to go out there. I tried," he said. "After the third inning, I started to get dizzy and light-headed and couldn't really do it anymore."

He said he wasn't worried about altering his mechanics to compensate for his weakened state.

"I just wasn't throwing with a lot of effort," said the defending National League Cy Young Award winner, who normally sits at 95 mph but whose first fastball Thursday was clocked at 85. "Basically I was just doing what my body let me do.

"After I came out I tried to go back to the hotel, but I couldn't get up. I threw up in the eighth inning and felt good enough to shower and get out of here. Last night was not much fun. I feel better now."

He said warming up was the worst part because he was "looking where I could throw up. I don't really get sick. I can't remember the last time I threw up."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.