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Lakers vs. Warriors: Game preview and thread, starting time, TV schedule

Lakers’ fans will finally get their first look at LeBron James and Lonzo Ball as teammates when the purple and gold take on the reigning NBA Champions.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers
Nov 29, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (14) drives baseline defended by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) during second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

As the preseason nears it’s welcome end, the Lakers are expected to get a pleasant parting gift in the form of Lonzo Ball’s reported return to the team’s lineup in their matchup with the Golden State Warriors.

According to Lakers’ sideline reporter, Mike Trudell, Ball is expected to come off the bench and play “10-30 minutes” in his first game back since March 28th.

The former No. 2 overall pick had been sidelined in the team’s four exhibition games up to this point, and only recently began participating in full-contact scrimmages as he has continued to rehab from an offseason knee-surgery.

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

With LeBron James also expected to play in the contest, this will be Lakers fans’ long-awaited first opportunity to see James and Ball share the floor together as teammates since their famous post-game interaction last season.

This will also be the first glimpse of Ball’s new physique in action. Despite being limited in aforementioned on-court basketball activities, Ball has looked noticeably bigger after his offseason weightlifting regiment, in which he reportedly put on “20 pounds of muscle.”

Ball has already credited his improved strength for helping his jump shot over the summer, and most likely will also see it help what was an already superb defensive game.

As a rookie, Ball had the third-best Defensive Real Plus-Minus among point guards in the league, and when he was on the floor, the Lakers were two points better defensively per-100 possessions, according to Cleaning the Glass.

With the Lakers still working out the kinks on both sides of the floor, having Ball back in the fold will hopefully help shore up some of the early issues as players and rotations normalize ahead of the regular season.

In terms of other injury news, the Lakers will most likely be without Josh Hart, who has been listed as questionable after tweaking his hamstring during a recent team practice, but is not expected to miss much action.

For the Warriors, the team will reportedly be without their valuable engine, Draymond Green, due to a sore knee:

The two teams will finish off their respective preseasons with consecutive games against one and other, and although the contests will simply be exhibition games, one can expect to see a little extra effort given from the players with the season right around the corner, and the chance of an exciting potential playoff matchup down the road.

Time: 7:30 p.m. PT

TV: ESPN

Stats provided by: Cleaningtheglass.com

*For more information on the Golden State Warriors, you can check out our season preview of the team from a couple weeks ago — here.