The Los Angeles Lakers have the chance to sweep their hallway rivals in the preseason when they take on the L.A. Clippers in the second of four total exhibition games.
On Friday, the two L.A. teams met after a historically short offseason. While the Clippers played their entire roster — including stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George — the Lakers opted for rest, sitting LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Markieff Morris.
Despite that, the Lakers still managed to secure a victory with the help of Talen Horton-Tucker, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell. Horton-Tucker was the star of the night with 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals. Kuzma added 18 points, while Harrell had a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Going into Sunday’s matchup, it was unclear exactly which players on the Lakers would be playing or resting. The only confirmed decision was that Alex Caruso will be unavailable due to a hip injury suffered in Friday night’s game.
Vogel then announced less than two hours to tipoff that James and Davis would again be held out. So too will Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok. Wesley Matthews and Dennis Schroder will be in uniform but only play in the event of an emergency.
Morris and Caldwell-Pope are starting in their respective preseason debuts, and Gasol gets to play as a member of the Lakers for the first time.
While preseason games don’t count in any significant way, it is a positive sign to see the development of L.A.’s young players such as Horton-Tucker, DeVontae Cacok and Kostas Antetokoumpo. In addition, preseason games can also help build chemistry with Harrell, Dennis Schroder and Wesley Matthews, who all made good contributions in the opener.
With three preseason games left, head coach Frank Vogel will be able to do some more lineup experimentation and youth development.
Lakers (1-0) vs. Clippers (0-1)
5:30 p.m. PT, Dec. 13, 2020
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN L.A.
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Talen Horton-Tucker
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Kyle Kuzma
PF: Markieff Morris
C: Marc Gasol
Key Reserves: Montrezl Harrell, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley
Projected Clippers Starting Lineup:
PG: Patrick Beverley
SG: Luke Kennard
SF: Paul George
PF: Kawhi Leonard
C: Serge Ibaka
Key Reserves: Reggie Jackson, Patrick Patterson, Ivica Zubac, Nic Batum, Lou Williams
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