The Los Angeles Lakers finally got back in the win column with an overtime victory against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, and now they look to build off it when they continue their road trip against the Washington Wizards in the second of a back-to-back.
This game is a rematch from a contest at Crypto.com Arena just over a week ago, which was the Lakers’ last win. They were led by 50 points from LeBron James in that game.
The Lakers are also without Wayne Ellington in this one due to non-COVID illness, while Carmelo Anthony and Talen Horton-Tucker both return after missing the Raptors games.
For the Lakers, a big key is always energy and whether or not they can avoid going down big early. That has been a theme in recent losses, so the first quarter will be something to keep an eye on.
Russell Westbrook is coming off one of his best games in a while so will look to build off it in his homecoming against the Wizards, who he played with last season.
Against the Raptors, Westbrook recorded a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, including a steal and three at the end of regulation to tie it.
Defensively, the Lakers will have to work to slow down Kyle Kuzma, who has become the Wizards’ top scoring option since Bradley Beal got injured.
Overall on the season, the former Laker is averaging 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists, although in his last 35 games, Kuzma is putting up 21 points and nine rebounds.
In the first meeting between these teams, Kuzma had 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
His teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope did not fare as well against his former team as he only had four points on 1-of-6 shooting so surely will be looking to fare better this time around.
Lakers (30-40-37) vs. Wizards (29-40)
5 p.m. PT, Mar. 19, 2022
Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Malik Monk
SF: Austin Reaves
PF: Stanley Johnson
C: LeBron James
Key Reserves: Carmelo Anthony, Talen Horton-Tucker, D.J. Augustin, Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley, Wenyen Gabriel
Projected Wizards Starting Lineup:
PG: Raul Neto
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Corey Kispert
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Kristaps Porzingis
Key Reserves: Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, Daniel Gafford, Ish Smith
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!