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Lakers vs. Rockets Preview: Two teams that badly need a win

The Lakers desperately need a win to stay competitive in the standings, while the Rockets are looking to snap a 10-game losing streak. Expect both teams to compete hard to win this one.

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Houston Rockets Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

After another heartbreaking loss to the Philadelphia 76ers tonight, the Lakers are back at it on their home floor on Monday against the Houston Rockets. The Rockets, who also played and lost tonight versus the Los Angeles Clippers without Jalen Green and Jae’Sean Tate, have dropped 10 straight games. Both teams are going to be vying hard for a win in this one.

This is a crucial game for Los Angeles not only because it would be nice to get a win against a less inferior opponent, but also due to their place in the Western Conference standings. After tonight’s result, the purple and gold (now 19-24) are currently the 13th seed, but are three games out of the 9th and 10th seed, and are four games away from catching the sixth, seventh and eighth seed. Their next stretch of games will be huge in terms of determining their overall state before the All-Star break — and perhaps even after.

Given how this Lakers team has performed as of late, there’s no doubt that their effort will be on full display. The question is, as it has been throughout the season, will their production follow suit? Can they actually close games this time? Can they get through a game against the worst team in the league (at least standing-wise) without depending too much on LeBron James? The Lakers have lost too many games that they should’ve won this season including tonight’s battle against the Sixers, and tomorrow’s match is an opportunity to make up for that.

Let’s see if the purple and gold can make up for their disastrous loss to the Sixers and snap their three-game losing streak to the Rockets.

Notes and Updates

  • Both teams have yet to release an injury report for tomorrow’s game. But as expected, Anthony Davis (foot), Austin Reaves (hamstring) and Lonnie Walker IV (left knee tendinitis) won’t be active. As for the Rockets, Kevin Porter Jr. (foot) didn’t play against the Clippers but expect Jalen Green and Jae’Sean Tate to return to their lineup after serving a one-game suspension.

AD was spotted on the court getting some shots up prior to tonight’s match against the Sixers. According to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, who provided an update during the game, AD isn’t running up and down the floor and doing full-court activity yet but he’s already going through individual workouts.

  • In case you missed it, LeBron James eclipsed 38,000 points in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Sixers. He’s now 365 points away from overtaking Lakers legend Kareem Aldub-Jabbar’s record of 38,387 points and becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
  • For news around the league, the Oklahoma City Thunder have won three straight games, and sadly for the Lakers, they’re now ahead of them in the standings. They also should now be considered a team that’s vying for a spot in the play-in tournament and one that could even go as far as claiming a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Lakers and Rockets will tip off at 7:30 p.m. PT on Monday. The game will be televised nationally on NBA TV and locally on Spectrum SportsNet.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Nicole on Twitter at @nicoleganglani.

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