April 1, 2018, 5:02 pm
The Lakers (33-42) host the Sacramento Kings (24-53) on Sunday night.
Los Angeles will be without three of their key offensive pieces in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Isaiah Thomas.
They will have to rely on production from their frontcourt — a unit that has provided stellar contributions when called upon.
Leading the way has been Julius Randle, who just had a remarkable nine-game streak of games with at least 20 points and nine rebounds snapped — he came up just short with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Randle is the one player that the Lakers have been able to rely on the whole season; he is the only Laker to play in all 74 games to date. Over the last month he is averaging 22.1 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 56.5 percent from the field. His unique ability to create in all facets of the game will be heavily relied upon today.
The Lakers will also lean on Kyle Kuzma, who is coming off a huge 27-point, 12-rebound, six-assist and two-steal performance against the Bucks. Over the last 11 games he is averaging 20.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from 3-point range.
-One large disparity between these teams is on the defensive end where the Kings have a 109.7 defensive rating (29th) compared to the Lakers who own a 105.7 rating (13th).
-Sacramento has a net rating of minus-8.3 (29th) in contrast to Los Angeles who are much better with a minus-1.3 rating (21st).
-The Lakers do a better job of controlling the glass with a 50.9 rebounding percentage (seventh) vs. a 48.2 rebounding percentage (28th) for the Kings. This corresponds to 46.4 rebounds per game (second) for the Lakers and 40.7 rebounds per game (28th) for the Kings.
-Sacramento is one of the poorest scoring teams in the league, totaling only 99.4 points per game (29th) in contrast to the Lakers who score 108.5 points per game (10th).
-The Kings do an excellent job limiting their turnovers with only 13.8 miscues per game (11th) compared to the Lakers who continue to struggle in that regard with 15.8 turnovers per game (28th).
-The Lakers average a significant edge in assists per game with 23.9 (seventh) compared to 21.7 assists per game (25th) for the Kings — this may be difficult to maintain due to the injuries to the Lakers’ playmakers.
-Sacramento is a much better 3-point shooting team, knocking down 37.8 percent (third) of their long-range shots vs. 34.4 percent (29th) for Los Angeles.
Projected Starting Lineup
Alex Caruso (PG)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG)
Kyle Kuzma (SF)
Julius Randle (PF)
Brook Lopez (C)
De’Aaron Fox (PG)
Bogdan Bogdanovic (SG)
Justin Jackson (SF)
Skal Labissiere (PF)
Willie Cauley-Stein (C)
Brandon Ingram (concussion) – OUT
Isaiah Thomas (hip) – OUT
Lonzo Ball (knee contusion) – OUT
Garrett Temple (ankle) – OUT
Iman Shumpert (foot) – OUT
Time: 6:30 PM PST, 9:30 PM EST
Television: SPECSN/SPECD, NBCSCA, SPORTSNET ONE, NBA TV
Radio: 710 AM ESPN, 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES, KHTK SPORTS 1140 AM