With a 4-0 homestand now in the rearview mirror, the Los Angeles Lakers hit the road for back-to-back games, with the first coming in a rematch from Wednesday night.
If head coach Luke Walton thought the San Antonio Spurs arrived at Staples Center motivated to bounce back from three drubbings in four games, the Lakers are sure to face a team with even more drive Friday night.
San Antonio led by eight points with eight minutes remaining, when LeBron James began to assert his dominance to lead the Lakers in a comeback victory. James scored 20 of his game-high 42 points in the fourth quarter in what was arguably his most electric performance of the season.
It came without Brandon Ingram, who suffered a sprained left ankle in the first quarter and never returned. Ingram did not travel with the team and therefore will miss at least the next two games.
And with Rajon Rondo still on the mend from hand surgery, Walton’s initial plan for point guard with the bench unit is to stagger Lonzo Ball and James to ensure at least one is on the court most times.
For Ingram, he will have essentially missed all four season matchups with the Spurs. He was serving a four-game suspension when the first two meetings were played, and was on the court for all of five minutes on Wednesday.
Heading into that contest, Walton hoped Ingram’s presence would help the Lakers in slowing DeMar DeRozan. The Southern California native put together another big game and is now averaging 31.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 8.3 assists against the Lakers this season.
Rudy Gay is coming off a 31-point performance, and LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting, to go along with 9 rebounds.
A victory at AT&T Center would give the Lakers their first five-game winning streak this season.
Los Angeles Lakers (15-9) @ San Antonio Spurs (11-14)
5:30 P.M. PT, Dec. 7, 2018
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
TV: 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: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tyson Chandler, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley
Projected Spurs starting lineup:
PG: Bryn Forbes
SG: DeMar DeRozan
SF: Davis Bertans
PF: Rudy Gay
C: LaMarcus Aldridge
Key Reserves: Derrick White, Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli, Dante Cunningham, Jakob Poeltl