The Los Angeles Lakers expected to have LeBron James back for the second game and now closer to full health, were set to take on the red-hot Golden State Warriors.
However, just over one hour before tip-off, Lakers head coach Luke Walton revealed James is dealing with lingering soreness and will not suit up. Additionally, Tyson Chandler is being given the night off for rest.
The Lakers are coming off of an overtime win against the Clippers in James’ return. He put up a near triple-double helping the Lakers to the victory despite being not 100 percent recovered from a groin strain.
The Lakers appeared to be almost as healthy as they’ve been all season, with only Lonzo Ball initially the only player unavailable. Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart were listed as probable but both are going to play.
The Warriors are coming off of a loss against the Philadelphia 76ers, which was their first defeat in 12 games and one of only two losses in the month of January. Klay Thompson missed that game due to an illness, is considered a game-time decision, but will likely play.
Thompson absolutely torched the Lakers in their last meeting, scoring 44 points on 10 3-pointers. If he does miss the game, the Warriors will obviously still have plenty of fire power, as Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins are all ready to go.
The Lakers will need to have a repeat performance of what they had on Christmas Day, when they put up arguably their best performance of the season, smashing the Warriors 127-101 even after losing James to injury in the third quarter.
Rajon Rondo and Ivica Zubac were incredible in that effort, and both figure to be in the starting lineup for this matchup.
The Lakers will also have to play with some extra focus as they deal with the looming Anthony Davis trade rumors. If the Lakers can cut out the noise and focus on playing their best basketball, they can beat this team. They’ve already proven they can.
Los Angeles Lakers (27-25) vs. Golden State Warriors (36-15)
5:30 P.M. PT, Feb. 2, 2019
Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
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: Ivica Zubac
Key Reserves: Lance Stephenson, Josh Hart, JaVale McGee, Michael Beasley
Projected Warriors Starting Lineup:
PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Draymond Green
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Key Reserves: Andre Igoudala, Shaun Livingston, Kevon Looney, Alfonzo McKinnie, Quinn Cook
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