ONTARIO — The Lakers are playing it safe with D’Angelo Russell, who will sit out Thursday’s game against Toronto due to a bruised glute.
Head coach Byron Scott said it was a “no-brainer” to keep out Russell due to soreness. The 19-year-old was injured when he took a hard fall during the first quarter on Sunday after trying to contest a basket by Utah's Rudy Gobert.
“There’s no need to put him out there and see how he felt and see if he could get warm and all that stuff,” Scott said. “We want to see if we can get all of that to go away before we put him back on the floor. Hopefully that’s Sunday.”
With Russell out, Jordan Clarkson shifts to the point guard position, while Nick Young joins the starting five.
Alongside Russell, Brandon Bass (patella contusion) will not play due to injury.
“(Bass) said he’s feeling pretty good,” Scott said. “I know we’re going to have a guy take a look at him … either tomorrow or Saturday. Then we’ll go from there. But the initial reaction was that he’s going to be out for a little while. Now it looks a lot better than that. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Marcelo Huertas will also miss his third straight game, as he flew to Vancouver in order to receive his immigration documents. With these three players out, Scott said he will have more minutes for players who haven’t seen playing time, like Robert Upshaw and Jonathan Holmes.
On the subject of playing time, Scott also noted that Kobe Bryant will play between 18 and 22 minutes after recording 21 in Tuesday's contest.