Five Pelicans out, two others questionable for season finale vs. Lakers
The New Orleans Pelicans will have a chance to play the spoiler role in their Sunday season finale against the Los Angeles Lakers, but while doing so, they won’t be anywhere close to full strength.
On Saturday afternoon’s injury update, four New Orleans starters and a key reserve were listed as out for Sunday's 8 p.m. game in the Smoothie King Center, with that group including Steven Adams (right first MTP sprain), Lonzo Ball (right thumb sprain), Josh Hart (right thumb surgery), Brandon Ingram (left ankle sprain) and Zion Williamson (left hand fracture).
Wes Iwundu (left shoulder sprain) and James Johnson (left knee contusion) are listed as questionable.
The Lakers will be playing in a back-to-back Sunday evening. LeBron James returned from injury to play Saturday afternoon at Indiana. With that win over the Pacers, the Lakers can avoid the Western Conference play-in round, but they must defeat the Pelicans, combined with a Portland home loss Sunday vs. Denver (that game is also at 8 p.m. Central). If those two outcomes occur, the Lakers and Trail Blazers will flip spots in the standings, pushing Portland to a play-in berth and Los Angeles to a No. 6 seed.
PREVIOUS GAME STARTING LINEUPS
LA LAKERS (41-30, 7TH IN WEST)
Saturday win at Indiana
Dennis Schroder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond
NEW ORLEANS (31-40, 11TH IN WEST)
Friday loss at Golden State
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Eric Bledsoe, Naji Marshall, James Johnson, Willy Hernangomez
Jan. 15: at LA Lakers 112, New Orleans 95
March 23: at New Orleans 128, LA Lakers 111
May 16: at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
LA Lakers 40-23 (Pelicans won last 1); LA Lakers 4-2 in postseason (2011 Western Conference first round)