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Lakers vs. Spurs Preview: Will LeBron James play on his birthday?

Happy birthday, ‘Bron!

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San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Today, Dec. 30, is LeBon James’ birthday, and while probably could have stayed home with his family in Los Angeles and celebrated his special day with a nice bottle of wine, he decided to make the trip to San Antonio with his teammates. The question is: can the Lakers gift him a win?

The Spurs have looked solid to start the season, winning two out of their first three games, and one early strength of theirs has been their guard play. That obviously starts with DeMar DeRozan, but their young guards have made an impact early on too — particularly Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker IV, who have averaged a combined 30.3 points per game. That’s not to mention veteran guard Patty Mills, who’s shooting a scorching 64.3% from 3-point range.

If the Lakers are going to get back on track Wednesday night, it has to start with their defense on the perimeter, which wasn’t at its best against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. Unfortunately, they won’t have one of their best perimeter defenders, Alex Caruso, available, so someone else will have to step up.

Could this be the game Talen Horton-Tucker earns a few more minutes? Will Wesley Matthews finally look like the 3-and-D player the Lakers hoped he’d be? We’ll see.

The Lakers and Spurs will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. on Spectrum SportsNet.

Notes and Updates

  • As noted at the top of the story, Caruso will not be available for the Lakers on Wednesday. Caruso didn’t travel with the team to San Antonio due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. There is no timetable for Caruso’s return.
  • LeBron James is the only other name on the injury report, and the Lakers have listed him as questionable with a left ankle sprain. It’s possible that James won’t play because Wednesday will mark his third game in four days, but he’ll likely want to play on his birthday.

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