Here is what you need to know before the Lakers return to Staples Center to take on the Brooklyn Nets.
This game features a battle between two of the most relied-upon bench units in the NBA. The Lakers’ reserves are scoring a league-high 51.3 points per game, while Brooklyn is second with 45.7.
The key pieces to Los Angeles’ bench success have been Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson. Williams has scored 181 points through 11 games, while Clarkson has put up 165. Since at least 1983, the most points a Laker had scored at this point in the season was Williams himself, who had 142 last year.
The Lakers are looking to rebound from a 125-99 loss in Minnesota on Sunday. On the second day of a road back-to-back, the Lakers were unable to contain Andrew Wiggins, who caught fire for a career-high 47 points on 14-of-21 shooting from the field and 17-of-22 on free throws.
The Nets are playing their second game at Staples Center in as many days, as they suffered a 127-95 loss to the Clippers on Monday. Brooklyn was rolled over right from the beginning, falling behind 35-7 just nine minutes in.
Head coach Luke Walton has made it clear that he wants the Lakers to play at a high speed this year, but so far the Nets have been even faster. Brooklyn is running the league’s second-fastest pace, averaging 103.9 possessions per game.
After Brooklyn swept the Lakers in 2014-15, L.A. repaid the favor last year. The last time these teams faced, D’Angelo Russell went off for a career-high 39 points on March 1, and topped off the performance by debuting his now-trademark “ice in my veins” celebration.
Brook Lopez could become the Nets’ all-time blocks leader in this game. Lopez — who is averaging 19.4 points and 1.6 blocks — needs just three swats to pass George Johnson (863) for the most in franchise history.
Brooklyn will likely be without former Laker Jeremy Lin, who has missed his last five games due to a strained left hamstring. The injury stopped a nice start for the new Net, who had contributed 15.0 points and 6.2 assists.
With Lin out, the Nets will rely on the likes of Bojan Bogdanovic, who showed off his scoring ability in Rio de Janeiro this summer. Representing Croatia, Bogdanovic led the Olympics in points (25.3), highlighted by a 33-point outburst against Marcelo Huertas and Brazil, which was the highest-scoring game in Croatian Olympic history.
Sean Kilpatrick has been a nice piece for Brooklyn this year, scoring double figures in nine of his 10 games while averaging 15.6 points. This offensive success isn’t too surprising considering he was a D-League All-Star for the Delaware 87ers last year and ranked third in scoring (26.4).
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW