There’s no place like home for the holidays, or at least that’s what the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping when they play pseudo-host to the Clippers Sunday night at STAPLES Center. A seven-game road trip for the Lakers produced just one lone win, beating up on the Philadelphia 76ers while losing out the rest of the board. Getting back to Southern California won’t solve the Lakers’ growing list of problems, but it won’t hurt considering they’ve played the highest total of road games in the NBA through the first two months of the season.
The Clippers are dealing with injury problems of their own. Blake Griffin is expected to miss four-to-six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, while Chris Paul sat out of the Clippers’ loss to the Dallas Mavericks because of a left hamstring injury. Paul’s status may be in the air for the Christmas Day showdown, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll sit out of the association’s biggest day of hoops.
Julius Randle is back in action after returning to California to witness the birth of his first child. He spent some time with his growing family and might just have a little extra motivation found after becoming a Father. A few days without any basketball activities couldn’t have hurt, either.
The Lakers put up a respectable fight last Christmas against the Clippers, making a push in the fourth quarter while holding the Clips to just nine points. Losing 12 of the last 13 has been a painful part of the process leading up to the rematch, so some holiday cheer with a win would be swell.
Big Brother is back in town and hopefully all they brought back for the Clippers is a bag full of coal. Enjoy the game and happy holidays.
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN