Having lost four of their last five contests, the Los Angeles Lakers look to get back on track in what’s technically the start of a six-game road trip as they are the designated away team against the Clippers.
They take the court with a significant boost, as LeBron James was cleared to return. The Lakers went 6-11 during the time he spent recovering from a groin strain suffered on Christmas Day.
“He came here early, said he felt good, and the medical staff said he’s good to go, so we’ll get him out there,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said of James’ return.
“I’m sure his conditioning is not up to par with where he normally is, so we’ll keep a close eye on him,” Walton added. James will not play under any sort of minutes restriction.
Though he was initially ruled out, James was upgraded to doubtful after the morning shootaround.
Lonzo Ball remains out with an ankle sprain, but Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma are both active. Kuzma returns after missing two games because of hip strain.
The Lakers were without the four aforementioned players in Tuesday’s 121-105 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite falling short, Brandon Ingram enjoyed a career night with 36 points, five rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes of action.
Thursday’s meeting between the Lakers and Clippers marks just the second game between the two teams all season. The Lakers are 0-1 against their intracity rival, dropping a late December contest in what was James’ second consecutive game missed due to injury.
The Clippers also face injury concerns as guard Avery Bradley has been deemed questionable with a sore knee. Meanwhile, forwards Danilo Gallinari and Luc Mbah a Moute have already been ruled out.
Los Angeles Lakers (26-25) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (28-25)
7:30 P.M. PT, Jan. 31, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, TNT
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN)/1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Brandon Ingram
SF: LeBron James
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Ivica Zubac
Key Reserves: JaVale McGee, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson. Tyson Chandler
Projected Clippers Starting Lineup:
PG: Avery Bradley
SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: Montrezl Harrell
C: Marcin Gortat
Key Reserves: Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Mike Scott, Boban Marjanovic
Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off any Lakers home game ticket order for the remainder of the season.