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Lakers fighting fatigue in final few games

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With injuries forcing players to log heavy minutes, the offseason could not come sooner for the Lakers.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ grueling 82-game schedule will finally come to a close on Wednesday and while fans might be sad to see the season end, the offseason could not come soon enough for the Lakers’ 15-man roster.

“It’s the end of the season,” rookie Josh Hart said following the Lakers’ loss to the Timberwolves on Friday. “We’re at No. 78, I think that was? Everyone’s tired. Everyone’s got their nicks and bruises, but you’ve just got to fight through it.”

Hart, like several key players in the Lakers’ rotation, is just a year removed from playing college basketball, where players are only expected to play in, at most, 40 games.

Kyle Kuzma, who played at the University of Utah last year, said the biggest adjustment for him has been the recovery time, or lack thereof, in the NBA compared to the NCAA.

“It’s a little different,” Kuzma said. “In college you play two games and then you have a lot of time before games to get ready if you get injured. With us it’s back-to-back, the next day ... it’s a little tough, for sure.”

Kuzma has logged a league-high 379 total minutes over the last 10 games, just a minute more than LeBron James, who averages a league-leading 37.2 minutes per game. Think he could use a break?

The Lakers will wrap up their season playing three games in four days, starting Sunday against the Utah Jazz. We’ll see if they can pull out a few wins and end the season strong, despite all of their bumps and bruises.

All quotes were provided via Lakers.com.