Lakers Vs. Warriors Preview: D’Angelo Russell Remains Out, Stephen Curry Returns
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers continue their five-game homestand against the defending champions the Golden State Warriors in a Sunday matinee game. It’s the final regular season meeting between the two teams and a pivotal one for the Lakers who are looking to get back in the win column.

Los Angeles is coming off a tough loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, one of the few teams they’re fighting with for Play-In Tournament positioning. Despite that, the Lakers remain only one game behind the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans for one of the final two spots and thus need to find a way to stack wins.

The purple and gold have a difficult challenge ahead of themselves as they continue to be without LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell. James will be sidelined for the next few weeks, but there was some optimism that Russell would be able to return. However, he was ruled out a couple of days before the game against the Warriors which suggests his ankle injury may be more serious than fans thought.

Making things harder for L.A. is Golden State is expected to have Stephen Curry return to their lineup. Curry has been out for 11 games due to a leg injury but is returning, albeit on a minutes restriction for the Warriors.

The last time these two teams played the Lakers were able to pull out a victory, though that came against a severely undermanned Warriors squad who was without key starters in Andrew Wiggins and Curry. Since then, Golden State has found their groove on both ends again and it’s resulted in a five-game winning streak.

In order for the Lakers to win, they’ll need to start the game with the same level of intensity they had in the fourth quarter against the Timberwolves. Multiple players admitted that they were going through the motions for the first three quarters, but that kind of effort won’t fly against the Warriors.

Anthony Davis needs to be the tone-setter on both ends, while the rest of the roster will have to hit open shots and remain focused on the defensive end. If Los Angeles plays with a sense of urgency from the jump, they should be able to compete with Golden State.

Los Angeles Lakers (30-34) vs. Golden State Warriors (34-30)

12:30 p.m. PT, March 5, 2023
Crypto.Com Arena
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA

Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:

PG: Dennis Schroder
SG: Malik Beasley
SF: Troy Brown Jr.
PF: Jarred Vanderbilt
C: Anthony Davis

Key Reserves: Austin Reaves, Lonnie Walker IV, Rui Hachimura, Wenyen Gabriel, Mo Bamba

Projected Warriors Starting Lineup:

PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Donte DiVincenzo
PF: Draymond Green
C: Kevon Looney

Key Reserves: Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, JaMychal Green, Anthony Lamb, Ty Jerome, Moses Moody

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