Game Preview: Warriors at Lakers - 1/18/21

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HEADED TO HOLLYWOOD
The NBA typically reserves some marquee matchups for Martin Luther King Day, and this year is no exception. Playing the final game of their three turned two-game road trip, the Warriors head to Southern California to take on the Lakers on Monday. The third and final matchup of TNT’s MLK Day triple-header, the Warriors will be taking on the reigning champion Lakers a game after taking on the other 2020 Western Conference Finalist (Nuggets). This will mark the Warriors’ 20th MLK Day game in the last 21 years (the exception was 2012), and the Dubs are 18-10 (.643) all-time on holiday since it was first observed in 1986.

LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors got their Thursday night tilt against the Denver Nuggets started on the wrong foot as poor rebounding and defense put them in an early hole. Even behind a Stephen Curry 35-point, 11-rebound double-double the team could not topple the Nuggets and took a 114-104 loss. » Full Game Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW LAL
6-6 10-3
8th in West 1st in West
PTS: 111.3 (14th) PTS: 115.7 (7th)
REB: 44.1 (17th) REB: 48.8 (3rd)
AST: 25.3 (14th) AST: 25.3 (13th)

LAST GAME STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and James Wiseman
LAL: Dennis Schröder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Alen Smailagic (right knee arthroscopy), Marquese Chriss (right ankle injury) and Klay Thompson (right Achilles rehab) are out. Team Notes
LAL: Kostas Antetokounmpo (right knee patellar tendinitis) and Jared Dudley (right calf soreness) are out. Anthony Davis (lower back tightness), LeBron James (left ankle sprain) and Wesley Matthews (right Achilles soreness) are questionable. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (left ankle sprain) is probable. Team Notes

WIGGINS IS HAVING A BLOCK PARTY
Through his first five-plus seasons in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Andrew Wiggins did not register more than three blocks in any game. It took just three games with Warriors in the 2019-20 season before the former first overall pick logged the first four-block game of his NBA career last February against Phoenix. Now 12 games into the 2020-21 campaign, Wiggins is averaging a career-high 1.8 blocks per game. That includes what was a career-high-tying night with four blocks Jan. 10 against the Toronto Raptors, and a new career high of five blocks the subsequent game against the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 12. There are just two games through this season in which Wiggins has not registered a block, and his one rejection in Thursday’s tilt against the Denver Nuggets made it four straight games with a block for the veteran wing.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW LAL
PTS: Curry (28.4) PTS: James (24.3)
REB: Chriss (6.5) REB: Davis (8.5)
AST: Green (6.6) AST: James (7.5)

LOS ANGELES LAKERS SCOUTING REPORT
The Lakers have picked up where they left off last season, as the reigning NBA champs are an NBA best 11-3 following their 112-95 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Led by a pair of perennial NBA candidates in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers haven’t shown a weak spot, as they have a top-five offense while owning the league’s best defensive rating (104.4 points allowed per 100 possessions). While James and Davis lead the show, the Lakers re-tooled this past offseason with several quality veteran acquisitions. Three-time All-Star Marc Gasol and reigning sixth man of the year Montrezl Harrell fortify the Lakers’ front line, and Dennis Schroder has taken over starting point guard duties after primarily being one of the league’s top reserve guards the prior two seasons with the Thunder. The Lakers are a deep team that has won nine of their last 10 games, so the Warriors have their work cut out for them on Monday night.

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