While the Los Angeles Lakers saw the needed return of Rajon Rondo, it was not enough to get back in the win column, thus they enter Sunday’s matchup with the Phoenix Suns on a three-game losing streak.
Overall, the Lakers are 5-10 since LeBron James and Rondo were injured in a win against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. While L.A. is facing a Suns team that’s mired in its own losing skid (seven games), injuries remain a concern.
James participated in some contact during Saturday’s practice but is set to miss a 16th consecutive game. Josh Hart was withheld from practice because of a balky knee and so too was Kyle Kuzma, who is questionable because of a hip strain.
Kuzma suffered the injury during an overtime loss to the Houston Rockets. He appeared particularly hobbled against the Minnesota Timberwolves. “I don’t think it’s been getting worse,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said.
“He plays a lot of minutes and he hits the ground a lot. I think it’s just not healing as quickly as he would like. I told him if he’s moving like he was last game, I don’t want him playing.”
Despite mounting injuries, the Lakers may be able to withstand Kuzma’s potential absence. Phoenix has the worst defensive rating in the league during their losing streak and the second-worst offensive rating. Their seven straight losses by have been by an average of 19 points.
The Suns are dealing with their own injury woes, as Deandre Ayton, Richaun Holmes and T.J. Warren are each out. Of course, the Lakers have already lost games at home to the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers this season.
Los Angeles Lakers (25-24) vs. Phoenix Suns (11-40)
6:30 P.M. PT, Jan. 27, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Brandon Ingram
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Tyson Chandler
Key Reserves: Ivica Zubac, Josh Hart, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, Svi Mykhailiuk
Projected Suns Starting Lineup:
PG: Elie Okobo
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Josh Jackson
PF: Mikal Bridges
C: Dragan Bender
Key Reserves: Jamal Crawford, Troy Daniels, Kelly Oubre Jr.
Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off any Lakers home game ticket order for the remainder of the season.