After getting shown up in Utah on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers (34-45) will have one last shot at the Jazz (46-33), this time at STAPLES Center. The Lakers have not beaten the Jazz in their two meetings this season, with their largest margin of defeat being a 96-81 loss in October.
Utah’s starting backcourt has given the Lakers a world of problems in both of their matchups this season, combining for 43 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in the first game and 57 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in their last game.
Granted, the Lakers didn’t have Lonzo Ball, who is nursing a knee contusion in their last game, but that doesn’t take away from how dominant the duo of Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio have been against Los Angeles this season.
If the Lakers want to use their last three games of the season to make a statement, they have to start tonight by showing some fight against Rubio, Mitchell and a playoff hopeful Jazz team.
Here are the projected starters for tonight’s game.
PG: *Lonzo Ball/Ricky Rubio
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope/Donovan Mitchell
SF: *Kyle Kuzma/Joe Ingles
PF: Julius Randle/Derrick Favors
C: Brook Lopez/Rudy Gobert
*Lonzo Ball (knee) and Kyle Kuzma (ankle) are questionable.
At long last the Lakers might have Lonzo Ball back in the starting lineup, but Brandon Ingram, who is still in the NBA’s concussion protocol, is still not ready to return. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve seen the last of him for the season, but you never know.
Having Ball back will help the Lakers’ offense, which has been stagnant as of late, get going. The Lakers had only 16 assists on Friday against the Timberwolves, tied for the second-least they have had all season.
Utah is a really good team and has chance to snatch the No. 3 seed by the time the season is over, but the Lakers have shown they can play spoiler when they want to. Hopefully, tonight is one of those nights.
Enjoy the game!
Time: 3 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet