The Los Angeles Lakers are riding their longest winning streak of the season, notching their fifth victory in a row in a stunning win over the San Antonio Spurs. Wrapping up their four-game road trip with a W was a strong statement, but they’ll now have to follow it up against the sizzling Portland Trail Blazers.
The return home to Los Angeles will be welcome for the Lakers, who will be without Brandon Ingram. Ingram sat out of the Lakers’ win over the Spurs, and the team announced that Ingram will miss at least one week while he nurses the injury. That means he’s sidelined for at least the next three games, and head coach Luke Walton wouldn’t rule out Ingram also sitting out Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
That’s not great news for the Lakers in the immediate, losing one of their key defenders against a locked-in Blazers squad. Portland is far out from reaching the top-two seedings in the Western Conference, but the rest of the West is in an insane race. Every win and loss matters for this Blazers team, a handful of lost “on-paper” wins away from being out of the playoffs entirely.
It’s that tight through the top-10 teams in the West. The Lakers fall just outside of that group, but can still make noise if they keep on their upward trend. Putting the clamps on Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum just became that much harder, though. Lonzo Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will have to burn their energy on defense, especially with Josh Hart also being out.
It’s not a total lost cause for the Lakers, who just beat the Spurs on the road at the end of a long road trip without BI. This game, similar to the outing in San Antonio, is house money. Let’s see if the squad can hit pay dirt again.
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, NBA TV