(Anna Lupean/Los Angeles Lakers)
Lakers vs. Warriors: 3 Things to Know (11/13/19)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers complete their back-to-back against the Golden State Warriors.
1) L.A.’s passing hit historic levels
The key to the Lakers’ shootout win in Phoenix last night was an eruption of ball movement, as the Lakers ended the night with 39 assists — their most in 10 years.
Nine different players dropped a dime for L.A., and eight of them had multiple. LeBron James, the NBA’s assists leader, was naturally at the forefront with 11, while Rajon Rondo came off the bench and had seven in his season debut.
Rondo, who did his damage in only 14 minutes, will not play against the Warriors — but coach Frank Vogel will continue to expect his players to share the ball.
“We really committed to the extra pass,” Vogel said. “I challenged our guys last game to truly commit to it. … That is the secret for us. If you truly commit to the extra pass offensively and playing for each other, we are going to be near unbeatable.”
2) AD’s availability?
Anthony Davis led the Lakers on the scoreboard and backboard in Arizona, finishing with 24 points and 12 rebounds. However, he had to briefly leave the game, and will be re-evaluated before this matchup with the Warriors.
Davis had X-rays taken on his ribs after the game, and fortunately they came back negative. But we’ll have to wait to see if Davis — who is eighth in the NBA in scoring (26.3) — is ready to go against Golden State.
Whether or not Davis plays, look for Kyle Kuzma to try to ride the wave he started against the Suns. After a tough return from injury, Kuz finally found his groove, scoring 23 points thanks to some tough shot-making, including two clutch 3-pointers.
3) Warriors have come down to earth
On the heels of five straight NBA Finals appearances, it’s a much different vibe around Golden State. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are hurt, while Kevin Durant left in free agency. The current team is just 2-9 — last in the NBA.
The biggest issue is that they haven’t been able to get stops. The Warriors are saddled with the NBA’s worst defensive rating (107.2), much to the chagrin of 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green.
But Golden State does have a not-so-secret weapon that makes them ripe for danger: D’Angelo Russell. The former Laker has scored 30-plus points in all four of his games since Curry went down, including a 52-pointer last week. He’s 10th in the league in scoring (26.3), eighth in 3-pointers (3.4) and absolutely lethal from mid-range. Plus, any team with Green is going to be well-stocked on competitiveness.
Lakers: Anthony Davis (sore right shoulder) and Troy Daniels (left knee injury) are TBD. Rajon Rondo (rest; sore right calf) and DeMarcus Cousins (rehabilitation, right knee) are out.
Warriors: Omari Spellman (left ankle sprain) is questionable. Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), Klay Thompson (left ACL rehabilitation), Kevon Looney (neuropathy), Damion Lee (right hand non-displaced fracture), Jacob Evans (left abductor strain and Alen Smailagic (right ankle sprain) are out.
Tip-Off: 7 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet locally, ESPN nationally
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: Purple Statement
Location: STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, California
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