Lakers Vs. Wizards Preview: Building On Strong Start To Road Trip Against Kyle Kuzma & Co.
LeBron James Kyle Kuzma Lakers
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Washington Wizards on Sunday, hoping to build on the strong start to their six-game road trip.

L.A. should have all first-team players available for the clash as Dennis Schroder will return following a one-game absence for the birth of his baby. The Wizards will be without Rui Hachimura and Delon Wright, who are dealing with ankle and hamstring injuries, respectively.

The Purple and Gold are coming off a 133-129 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, proving their great form in recent weeks hasn’t been a fluke. Notably, the Lakers turned the ball over just four times in a game for the first time since March 2019, proving how seamlessly their offense operated against a top NBA defense.

L.A. will face a team of a similar profile on Sunday as Washington is a top-10 rebounding team in the league and block shots at a top-4 rate. Also, they tend to stretch the floor with big man Kristaps Porzingis hitting 36.4% from 3-point range this season while averaging 21.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.

Among the players to watch for will be former Laker Kyle Kuzma, who is putting up a career-high 20.3 points per game in addition to 7.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists — proving he keeps growing since becoming a Wizards starter. Meanwhile, Bradley Beal is averaging 24.1 points, 5.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 2022-23.

The Wizards don’t allow plenty of points in the paint, but that might not matter for Anthony Davis, who’s been playing on an MVP level in the last couple of weeks. Davis is averaging 32.9 points, 15.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 2.9 blocks over the last eight weeks, and will certainly make things difficult for Porzingis and Kuzma if he can keep up his aggressiveness and efficiency.

Meanwhile, the Lakers score a fine 50% from the field and shoot 37% for 3 in the same timeframe. Maintaining that efficiency will place them in a good spot to claim another win.

Los Angeles Lakers (9-12) vs. Washington Wizards (11-12)
3:00 p.m. PT, December 4, 2022
Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA

Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:

PG: Patrick Beverley
SG: Lonnie Walker IV
SF: Troy Brown Jr.
PF: LeBron James
C: Anthony Davis

Key Reserves: Russell Westbrook, Austin Reaves, Denis Schroder, Kendrick Nunn, Thomas Bryant, Wenyen Gabriel

Projected Wizards Starting Lineup:

PG: Monte Morris
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Deni Avdija
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Kristaps Porzingis

Key Reserves: Corey Kispert, Daniel Gafford, Will Barton, Jordan Goodwin, Anthony Gill

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