Head coach Mike D’Antoni rolled the dice heading into the matchup with the Utah Jazz on Friday night going with Kendall Marshall and Robert Sacre in the starting lineup. The Los Angeles Lakers had lost six straight games before taking on the Jazz, but were able to snap the streak with Marshall leading the way.
Apparently, D’Antoni sees no reason to mix things up further and will stick with the same starting five on Sunday against the visiting Denver Nuggets according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com via Twitter:
D'Antoni said we will see the same starting line up from last night tomorrow vs. Denver: Marshall, Meeks, Young, Gasol and Sacre.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 4, 2014
Marshall had a breakout performance in the win over the Jazz on Friday finishing with 20 points, 15 assists and six rebounds. The former D-Leaguer proved to many that he’s more than capable of shouldering the load at the point guard position with extended minutes while Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Kobe Bryant recover from injuries.
Along with Marshall having career night in his first NBA start, Pau Gasol also played well showing no ill effects from the upper respiratory infection that sidelined the veteran earlier in the week. Gasol led the way in the scoring department with a game-high 23 points while also ripping down a game-high 17 rebounds, dishing out eight assists and blocking three shots.
The Lakers will face a tougher challenge against the Nuggets on Sunday, but not by much as Denver has lost eight out their last nine games. Marshall will be given a true test at the point guard position in the form of Ty Lawson while Gasol and company will have to battle it out with Kenneth Faried in the paint.
Coach D’Antoni on Kendall Marshall, Jeremy Lin, Chris Kaman Not Playing