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Lakers vs. Spurs Game Preview: A matinee with Popovich

Getcha’ popcorn ready.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are back home for their first game at STAPLES Center since the All-Star break in an early matinee game Sunday afternoon. The catch? It’s against the San Antonio Spurs.

Yes, the Lakers, who looked like they sorely missed Lou William’s scoring punch at times against the Oklahoma City Thunder, now have the NBA’s best defensive team to deal with. The Spurs allow a league-best 101 points per 100 possessions, and still have a top-five offense to go with it.

The Lakers have compiled the second-worst defensive rating and still have a bottom-six offense to go with it. That struggle is reflected in their 19-40 record and slated trip to the draft lottery in a few short months.

Fans should get a longer look at Corey Brewer, who played just four minutes in his first game with the team, along with the debut of Tyler Ennis. Jose Calderon, meanwhile, is on his way out and likely headed to the Warriors.

D’Angelo Russell might be all the guard the Lakers need, though, if he builds up on an impressive by-the-numbers night in Oklahoma City. He put up 29 points, asserting himself coming out of the All-Star break.

There’s not a world where the Lakers would seem to be a serious contender in a early game, especially against the Spurs. Still, on a rainy Southern California day, why not just stay in and enjoy the game?

Time: 12:30 p.m. PT

TV: Spectrum SportsNet, NBA TV

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