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Lakers vs Warriors: Game Preview

Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

The return of NBA basketball is finally here after the All-Star break. The Lakers won’t get to ease back into action, as their first assignment is a must-win game against the Golden State Warriors, with both teams currently jostling for position inside the play-in and only 23 games remaining in the season.

Injury Report

The Lakers will, for what seems the first time in a long time, be dealt a clean bill of health. LeBron James and Anthony Davis, both probable, are the only two Lakers on the injury report. As for Golden State, they will be missing two key starters tonight with Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins both out. Gary Payton II is also out for the Warriors along with Andre Igoudola and Ryan Rollins.

Solidified Starting Lineup?

The Lakers went into the break with a big win over the New Orleans Pelicans. The new starting lineup for that game was James and Davis surrounded by D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt. In that game it seemed the perfect mix of shot creating , playmaking and defense. Darvin Ham said yesterday that this is the lineup the Lakers plan on using going forward, which will aim to bring much-needed stability in a year which has seen many different lineups assembled.

Defend with Intensity

A few weeks back, in the first game out of the trade deadline the Lakers managed to pull off a big win in San Francisco without Lebron James. The main reason was the Lakers’ defensive intensity, especially drawing fouls off of screens. If they can show similar intensity tonight throughout all four quarters, they have a good chance of coming away with a big win.

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