After six straight losses, the Los Angeles Lakers finally came out with a 110-99 victory over the Utah Jazz last night. Led by Kendall Marshall’s 20 points and 15 assists, the former 2012 lottery pick made solid decisions as he created wide open opportunities for his teammates. With the Lakers facing the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, they returned to practice today in good spirits.
While the Lakers’ backcourt is still depleted, head coach Mike D’Antoni has finally found a starting lineup he is comfortable with as Kendall Marshall and Robert Sacre will start against the Nuggets:
Lakers starting lineup will be the same vs. Denver : Marshall (PG), Meeks (SG), Young (SF), Gasol (PF), Sacre (C)
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 4, 2014
Since Kobe Bryant’s injury, it will be the first time D’Antoni will be able to start the same five players which should give the Lakers some momentum:
By the way, D'Antoni said he'd start same lineup tomorrow for the first time since Kobe was healthy.
— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) January 4, 2014
All the talk at practice was obviously about Marshall’s performance. After getting a double-double in his first Lakers start, Marshall shared that almost 9,000 people followed him on Twitter since last night.
.@KButter5 says he's picked up about 8,000-9,000 Twitter followers since his 20-point, 15-assist outburst last night.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 4, 2014
Although the Lakers had two disappointing losses during this home stand, they have an opportunity to finish on a high note. While they could’ve gotten back to the .500 mark during this stretch, the Lakers will need to find a way to remain the playoff hunt without Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. Unfortunately, the Lakers schedule won’t help as 10 of the next 11 games are on the road.
In case you missed it, Mike D’Antoni compared Kendall Marshall to Jeremy Lin on Friday.