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Lakers vs Clippers: Game Preview

Photo/Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers take on the Clippers in the fourth and final meeting between the two sides in the regular season, and the last time the teams will ever play a regular season game as habitants of the same arena. The Lakers lead the season series 2-1 heading into tonight’s matchup, but are more in need of a big win tonight than the other team from southern California.

It is a lengthy injury report for the Lakers again. LeBron James is questionable. Anthony Davis and Cam Reddish are probable, and if Reddish would be to return it would be his first game since he injured his ankle against the Clippers several weeks ago. Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent remain out as well, as does Colin Castleton.

Play With Urgency

In Sunday’s loss to Phoenix, LA came out to a really sluggish start in the first quarter and found themselves down 20. They managed to cut the lead to two in the third quarter, but were never able to take the lead. LA used up so much energy Sunday chasing the game that it showed late, allowing Phoenix to pull away down the stretch. The Lakers absolutely cannot do the same. They need to come out with real urgency to begin the game tonight, make a strong start, and – most importantly -not spend the whole game chasing a big lead. This Clippers offense will put you away instantly in that situation.

Rebound Rebound Rebound

Another big reason for the Lakers’ loss in Phoenix was their woeful rebounding. Tonight, they face a smaller Clippers team and there is no better time to have a bounce back game in the rebounding department, especially in the absence of Paul George and potentially Ivica Zubac. They lakers need to be dominant and control the glass. The Clippers are too good to give them multiple chances in a possession.

Tonight’s game will be the first of a back-to-back with the Lakers facing the Wizards tomorrow night. We are heading into the stretch of the season, and with the Lakers trying to improve their playoff seeding every win is vital for them.

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