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LeBron James, Anthony Davis & Russell Westbrook All Out

The Los Angeles Lakers face the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night in one of their three remaining games of the season.

L.A.’s Play-In Tournament hopes officially ended on Tuesday when the Purple and Gold lost to the Phoenix Suns. Hence, the Lakers are facing the Warriors without their Big 3, as LeBron James and Anthony Davis played through injuries over the last week and Russell Westbrook appeared on the injury report with right shoulder soreness.

Meanwhile, Stephen Curry will miss the clash with a foot injury, which has ruled him out for the remainder of the regular season.

Since Curry’s injury in mid-March, the Warriors have had the third-worst offense in the NBA and went 3-6, falling far behind the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies in the standings. Golden State shot just 45.5% from the field during that stretch, good enough for the 25th rank.

Jordan Poole has taken on a lion’s share of offensive responsibilities in the star playmaker’s absence. Poole averages 27.8 points and 5.6 assists per game, making nearly 40% of his 3-point attempts and converting an astonishing 93.8% of his free throws.

Rookie Austin Reaves — who will likely return to the starting lineup with James and Westbrook out — will face a mighty challenge in trying to stop the Michigan alum, particularly as the Warriors will come out determined for the clash with the Lakers.

Golden State is yet to lock into the third seed in the West after the Dallas Mavericks capitalized on the Warriors’ slump and have come just 0.5 games behind them.

Hopefully, the Lakers will match their effort despite the wear and tear of the season and wrap up 2021-22 just as head coach Frank Vogel asked them to — with integrity.

Lakers (31-48) vs. Warriors (50-29)

7:00 p.m. PT, April 7, 2022
Chase Center, San Francisco, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, TNT
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA

Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:

PG: Malik Monk
SG: Austin Reaves
SF: Stanley Johnson
PF: Trevor Ariza
C: Wenyen Gabriel

Key Reserves: Talen Horton-Tucker, Wayne Ellington, D.J. Augustin, Dwight Howard

Projected Suns Starting Lineup:

PG: Jordan Poole
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Draymond Green
C: Kevon Looney

Key Reserves: Gary Payton II, Jonathan Kuminga, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Nemanja Bjelica

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