Lakers Vs. Pelicans Preview & TV Info: Illness & Injuries Dominate Julius Randle’s Return To Staples Center
Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

While Julius Randle faces the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time since leaving the team to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans in free agency, the matchup is filled with question marks across the board.

Brandon Ingram (sprained ankle) and Rajon Rondo (hand surgery) are available to play, but Lakers head coach Luke Walton has not fully confirmed if either or both will return Friday night. Meanwhile, JaVale McGee remains sidelined by flu-like symptoms and LeBron James is also ill.

He did not attend shootaround and is considered a game-time decision. For the Pelicans, Anthony Davis also missed shootaround due to feeling under the weather, and Randle is expected to push through a sprained ankle.

Additionally, Nikola Mirotic is doubtful because of his own ankle injury, which would mark a fifth straight game he’s missed.

The Lakers are coming off of a wildly disappointing road trip where they went 1-3 against four opponents that are under .500, dropping them to 7-9 away from Staples Center this season. They are 11-4 and have won five straight at home.

L.A. faces a Pelicans team that is outside the Western Conference playoff picture and are horrible away from home, at 4-12.

Los Angeles Lakers (18-13) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (15-17)

7:30 P.M. PT, Dec. 21, 2018
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)

Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:

PG: Lonzo Ball
SG: Josh Hart
SF: LeBron James
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Tyson Chandler

Key Reserves: Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson

Projected Pelicans Starting Lineup:

PG: Tim Frazier
SG: Jrue Holiday
SF: Solomon Hill
PF: Julius Randle
C: Anthony Davis

Key Reserves: E’Twaun Moore, Frank Jackson, Jahlil Okafor, Wesley Johnson

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