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Game Preview: Lakers vs Warriors

Photo/Associated Press

The Lakers begin a road trip tonight by playing the Golden State Warriors in the Bay Area. Both teams have been below expectations this season and both will be looking to build momentum ahead of the trade deadline and All-Star break. It is a a rematch of the Western Conference Semifinal last season, when the Lakers beat the Warriors 4 games to 2. Both teams made roster adjustments over the summer – mostly small adjustments for the Lakers, while Golden State traded away young guard Jordan Poole for Chris Paul.

Paul will be out for tonight’s meeting for the Warriors, while Anthony Davis and LeBron James are both questionable for the Lakers. Gabe Vincent remains out. Cam Reddish is also set to be out for a few weeks for LA after suffering an ankle sprain against the Clippers.

Attack, attack, attack

The Warriors’ downfall in the post-season was their inability to defend the Lakers without fouling, especially at the rim. That hasn’t changed. They still lack a true rim protector, so this is a perfect game for Davis and James to lead the charge and put pressure on the Warrior defense in the paint. The Lakers outside shooting will be important but they won’t be able to outshoot the Warriors, who have too many marksman from beyond the arc.

Guard the Three

The Lakers have struggled at guarding shooters from deep all season. It’s vital they don’t make the same mistake tonight. The Warriors have the best shooter of all time in Steph Curry and an elite marksman in Klay Thompson alongside him. Andrew Wiggins, Dario Saric, and others can provide spacing for Golden State. The Lakers played a good defensive game against the bulls and will need to do so again tonight, they have to be disciplined again and not allow the warriors shooters to gain any sort of rhythm.

Will the Lakers get back over .500 with a win tonight? It’s an early tip off at 5:30 PST as they begin their road trip in San Francisco.

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