The Golden State Warriors (34-30) go on the road to face the Los Angeles Lakers (30-34) later this afternoon on ABC. Golden State is a 5.5 point favorite and the total is 235. This is the fourth and final meeting between these teams, Golden State won the first meeting, 123-109, at home on opening night, the Lakers won the next two, 109-103 and 124-111, last month.
The Lakers have gone 1-2 since losing LeBron James to a foot injury a week ago, including a 110-102 loss at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. Golden State has won 5 in a row since losing by 13 to the Lakers on February 23rd. Golden State trailed by double-digits in the first half of their last 4 wins, they still ended up beating Portland by 18 (123-105) and the L.A. Clippers by 24 (115-91). Superstar guard Steph Curry is expected to make his return for this game, he’s missed the last 11 games with a leg injury. Golden State went 7-4 without him. Golden State currently sits in 5th place in the West, while the Lakers are 11th.
THE SKINNY ON BOTH TEAMS
The Los Angeles Lakers have had a tough time since winning the NBA title in the Orlando “bubble” in 2020. LeBron James and Anthony Davis taking turns on the injured list, and a revolving door when it comes to their supporting cast has left the Lakers in a position where they could finish below .500 for a second straight year, they finished 33-49 last season.
The Lakers acquired Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba in trades last month in an effort to boost their bench and improve their shooting, but it only took a couple of games before Anthony Davis and then LeBron James suffered injuries. LeBron will be out for at least three more weeks! D’Angelo Russell also suffered an injury (ankle) and will miss his fifth straight games today. Despite the disappointing season the Lakers are having, LeBron James continues to play at an elite level at age 38, he’s averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 6.9 assists per game. When Anthony Davis is on the floor, he’s been outstanding this year, averaging 26.1pts, 12.4rebs and 2.1blks in 39 games.
The defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors have also suffered through injuries and inconsistent play this year. Steph Curry has missed 26 games due to injury, Andrew Wiggins has missed 25. Curry is still playing at an elite level when he’s healthy, putting up 29.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1 steal per game.
An encouraging sign for Golden State is Klay Thompson appears to have regained his pre-ACL tear form during this 11-game stretch where Steph Curry has been out. Golden State has also received significant contributions from role players Donte DiVincenzo and Jonathan Kuminga during this stretch without Curry. Golden State could be peaking at the right as the regular season winds down and the playoffs begin.
Golden State appears to be peaking right now and Steph Curry makes his return today, the Lakers are going nowhere fast again this season…Lay the 5 and take Golden State!!
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