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Lakers vs. Wizards Game Preview: Magic in the air

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Is that magic in the air, or just the Wizards? Or is it Magic?

NBA: Washington Wizards at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers begin their Grammy’s road trip in Washington D.C., where they’ll face John Wall and the Wizards. If you’re feeling some magic in the air, don’t let those wizards fool you. It’s quite the coincidence that on the same day Magic Johnson joined the Lakers front office they’ll also be dealing with some “magic” on the court.

D’Angelo Russell and Ivica Zubac are coming off of strong performances in a win over the Denver Nuggets, and hopefully the burgeoning duo packed their two-man game for the five-game roadie. Russell notched his first career double-double (with assists — he’s done so with rebounds in the past. Never take a broadcaster’s word for it without #factchecking first) while Zubac looked decisive with the ball in his hands. Zubac’s ability to smother a defender with a screen and do something with the rock in his hands once the ball heads his way makes him an immediate plus on offense.

But offense often isn’t the big problem with the Lakers, especially when considering they have the worst defense in the league. Enter John Wall, who will slice and dice an easy target like a hot Ginsu knife through an ice cream sundae. The Wizards are on a five-game winning streak and have won nine of their last 10 games, fighting to establish homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference.

Both Wall and Bradley Beal are averaging just over 22 points per game, while Otto Porter’s developed into a legitimate three-point shooter and fixture of their rotation. Porter is shooting 46 percent from deep on 4.3 attempts per game.

Julius Randle is cleared to return, though it’s unclear if he’ll suit up for the start of the annual trip. Enjoy the game, and a slate of much-earlier tip-off times with a tour through the East coast.

Time: 4 pm. PT

TV: Spectrum SportsNet