The Wizards are back in action on Sunday evening, hosting the Lakers at 6 p.m. at Capital One Arena. Washington is looking to extend its home winning streak against Los Angeles to six games. Here’s everything you need to know.
WHERE: Capital One Arena (Washington, D.C.)
WHEN: 6:00 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Washington
RADIO: The Team 980 & The Wizards App
Rui Hachimura (right ankle soreness – out)
Delon Wright (right hamstring strain – out)
Anthony Davis (low back tightness – probable)
LeBron James (left ankle soreness – questionable)
Dennis Schroder (personal reasons – questionable)
DEFENDING HOME COURT
The Wizards come into Sunday’s matchup one game below .500 on the season having lost five of their last six games. All five of those losses have come on the road: a pair of losses in Miami to go along with losses in Boston, Brooklyn and Friday night in Charlotte. On the flip side, Washington has racked up three wins in a row playing at Capital One Arena: an overtime win over the Heat, a four-point win over the Hornets and Monday’s thrilling 142-127 win over the Timberwolves that was bolstered by a career-high 41 points from Kristaps Porzingis.
Through 23 games, the Wizards are 8-4 at home compared to 3-8 on the road. Their offensive rating is nearly identical, but the Wizards’ defense sees an uptick playing in front of the home fans, recording a 110.5 defensive rating compared to its 114.6 away from D.C. At home, the Wizards 58.6% true shooting percentage tops its 55.0 true shooting percentage on the road.
It is imperative that Washington capitalize on the advantages it finds when playing at home, especially during a month of December in which it is slated for just five total home games. After Sunday’s game vs. the Lakers, the Wizards will play eight of their next 10 games on the road, including a six-game West Coast trip featuring matchups against the Nuggets, Lakers, Clippers and Suns.
BEYOND BEAL, KUZMA AND KP
While the Wizards have gotten productivity out of Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis, the search for consistency outside their top trio continues. In their last five games, Beal, Kuzma and Porzingis are each averaging over 22.0 points per game. Beal and Kuzma are at or above 5.0 assists per game. Porzingis is averaging 9.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Beal is coming off a season-high 33-point performance. Porzingis is a few games removed from tying his career high with 41 points in a win over the Wolves.
In the same five game stretch unpacked above, no other player is averaging in double-figures. An uptick in productivity from the role players would be a huge boost for Washington. Against the Lakers, the Wizards will face a defense that ranks 10th overall in defensive rating (111.0) and ranks 18th in opponent bench points per game (42.3).
SCOUTING THE LAKERS
The Lakers enter Sunday’s matchup at 9-12 on the season, but have won seven of their last nine games, including their most recent outing – a 133-129 win over the Bucks, led by a combined 72 points from Anthony Davis and LeBron James. In the win, former Wizard Russell Westbrook – who has settled into a sixth-man role with the team – totaled 15 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds.