While the focus of Monday night centered around the Los Angeles Lakers honoring Kobe Bryant by retiring his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys, there was a game to be played against the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, in the first of two head-to-head meetings this week.
The Warriors went into the matchup shorthanded, as they were without Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle), Draymond Green (right shoulder soreness), Shaun Livingston (sore right knee) and Zaza Pachulia (left shoulder soreness). The Lakers, meanwhile, lost Brook Lopez to injury two minutes before halftime.
After being switched on to Kevin Durant, Lopez rolled his right ankle while contesting Durant’s driving, left-handed layup that resulted in a three-point play.
Lopez was helped off the court by teammates Thomas Bryant and Josh Hart, and immediately went into the locker room. X-rays were negative, but Lopez was diagnosed with a right ankle sprain, and he will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.
Prior to his night coming to an end, Lopez scored six points on 3-of-5 shooting and grabbed one rebound in 11 minutes of action. He entered play averaging 13 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Lopez had scored in double-figures in five of the past six games.
The Lakers next play Wednesday, on the road against the Houston Rockets, then face the Warriors on Friday, and Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. With Lopez presumably due to miss some time, the Lakers could turn to Ivica Zubac or Thomas Bryant to help fill the void.
Zubac has been used sparingly and currently is with the South Bay Lakers, while Bryant has yet to log any minutes with the Lakers. Kuzma started in place of Lopez for the second half against the Warriors.
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