Lakers Vs. Clippers Preview: Potential Final Time As Road Team In Arena
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After sharing the same arena for several decades, the Los Angeles Lakers and the L.A. Clippers potentially face each other for the final time in Arena with the former being the road team. Barring a playoff matchup, the next time the Clippers will host the Lakers will be in the new Intuit Dome in Inglewood.

This matchup has served as an entertaining crosshall rivalry over the years, but in recent memory, the Clippers owned the purple and gold during the regular season. With the Clippers previously winning 11 straight against the Lakers, LeBron James and Anthony Davis were able to pick up wins in the first two meetings this season.

Jan. 23 was the last meeting between the two, which was a 127-116 win in favor of the Clippers, but the Lakers played without James in that one. Both James and Davis are going to be available in the season series finale, which is a crucial game after a disappointing loss on Sunday against the Phoenix Suns.

For the rivals, they are without Paul George, who is dealing with a knee injury, and starting center Ivica Zubac, who is battling an illness. While two starters being sidelined for the Clippers takes away from the entertainment value, this increases the chances for the Lakers to pick up a bounce-back win.

In the previous meeting, L.A. simply could not get a stop against the Clippers as they were rolling offensively. Without George, the vocal point shifts to James Harden and Kawhi Leonard to pick up the offensive workload. However, limiting role players in Norman Powell, Terrance Mann and Russell Westbrook is arguably more important for the Lakers as it stalls out their offense.

Containing the 3-point line is crucial as the streaking Clippers are a good 3-point shooting team, shooting 14-for-27 (51.9%) in the last matchup. Another key for the Lakers is to finish defensive possessions with a rebound after getting killed on the offensive glass against the Suns. Limiting second-chance opportunities is incredibly important, and it will be a group effort alongside Davis in order to do so.

Los Angeles Lakers (31-28) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (37-19)

7:00 p.m. PT, Wednesday February 28, 2024 Arena, Los Angeles, California
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA

Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:

PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Austin Reaves
SF: LeBron James
PF: Rui Hachimura
C: Anthony Davis

Key Reserves: Taurean Prince, Spencer Dinwiddie, Cam Reddish, Jaxson Hayes, Max Christie

Projected Clippers Starting Lineup:

PG: James Harden
SG: Terrence Mann
SF: Amir Coffey
PF: Kawhi Leonard
C: Mason Plumlee

Key Reserves: Norman Powell, Russell Westbrook, Daniel Thesis

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