The Los Angeles Lakers are surging, winning a fourth consecutive game and putting them in prime position to not only make the playoffs but jump higher in the standings than originally expected.
Their recent win against the Utah Jazz sets up a monumental matchup against their Crypto.com co-tenants, the L.A. Clippers.
The Clippers have historically owned the Lakers in recent years, winning the past nine contests. However, Ty Lue believes their tenth meeting will be their most important game to date, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
“It’s different now,” Lue said when asked why the Clippers have had so much recent head-to-head success against the Lakers. “A lot’s at stake right now. They’re playing at a high level and this is the first meaningful game that we’ve actually played.
“I’m excited for it. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know why we’ve been so good [against the Lakers], but tomorrow will be different.”
Ivica Zubac knows the purple and gold well from his time with the franchise and echoed Lue’s statement:
“We never got to play them in a [playoff] series that the fans and everyone expected us to,” said Clippers center and former Laker Ivica Zubac before practice. “But this is as close as it gets so far.
“I think this is the most important game that I’ve been in with the Lakers [and] Clippers. You can feel it now. It’s gonna be biggest game of the season for both teams. I can’t wait.”
The game will also be the first time Russell Westbrook plays his former team and Norman Powell admitted there will be some extra motivation from the Clippers to get him a win:
“We know what’s been said [in] the media, what’s been said about him and his time there,” guard Norman Powell said. “We’ve always shown the support since Day 1 since he’s got here and bringing him into the fold, bringing him into the family.
“For any player, going up against a former organization that you were just with, you want to kind of stick it to them. So I think it’s an important game for him and us as well.”
The storylines are endless when it comes to the pivotal Los Angeles matchup. It truly feels like a toss-up kind of game, though if Anthony Davis ends up playing fans have to feel good about the Lakers’ chances.
Austin Reaves believes Lakers have gelled well since trade deadline
The new-look Lakers have done well for themselves since the trade deadline, but the team has also benefitted from the strong play of Austin Reaves as of late. Reaves, who was recently promoted to the starting lineup, believes that Los Angeles has gelled well since the new acquisitions have come aboard.
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