The LA Lakers and the LA Clippers meet for the second time this season at the Staples Center in a marquee Sunday afternoon matchup in the 2020-21 NBA. In their first meeting this campaign, the LA Clippers had emerged victorious.
The LA Lakers head into this matchup on the back of a blowout victory over the Sacramento Kings but will be without star players Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The LA Clippers, meanwhile, have dropped two straight games after losing to the Denver Nuggets in their last outing.
Fixture: LA Lakers vs LA Clippers | NBA Season 2020-22.
Date & Time: Sunday, April 4th, 2021; 3:30 PM ET (Monday, April 5th, 1:00 AM IST).
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers returned to winning ways against the Sacramento Kings with a huge 115-94 win on the road. They have now won three of their last four games without their star duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, which is a positive sign for them as the season enters a crucial phase.
Kyle Kuzma led the LA Lakers against the Sacramento Kings with a season-high performance, scoring 30 points on the night. The rest of the roster also put in decent shifts to round off a brilliant team performance.
Frank Vogel will hope his side can replicate that performance against the LA Clippers and avenge the defeat they endured against their city rivals earlier in the season.
He will also hope for new signing Andre Drummond to make his return to the LA Lakers lineup after missing the last game due to a toe contusion. Drummond is listed as 'day to day' for this game and will likely start if cleared to play.
Key Player - Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder has been one of the most consistent players for the LA Lakers this season, apart from LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Even in the duo's absence, Schroder hasn't let his performances go down; he has been exceptional in leading the charge for the reigning champions as the 'third' superstar of the team.
Schroder has been a key player in each of the LA Lakers' three wins without James and Davis. In the absence of the duo, Schroeder will once again be expected to play a stellar role against the LA Clippers.
Point Guard - Dennis Schroder l Shooting Guard - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope l Small Forward - Kyle Kuzma l Power Forward - Markieff Morris l Center - Andre Drummond.
LA Clippers Preview
The LA Clippers have been one of the most inconsistent teams lately. Following their recent six-game winning streak, they have lost two on the bounce.
Both these losses were hard to swallow for Ty Lue and co. The first of the two losses came against the lowly Orlando Magic, who recently traded away almost all their best assets in Vucevic, Gordon and Fournier. Despite that, the LA Clippers got outscored 3-17 in the final stretch and succumbed to a shock defeat after being in a comfortable position to win the game.
The other game was a 94-101 defeat against the Denver Nuggets. The LA Clippers weren't allowed to take a lead throughout the game and were restricted to 29% shooting from the three-point line.
Key Player - Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard has been a key player for the LA Clippers this season and has been their best performer, as expected by many.
The 2019 Finals Most Valuable Player has scored 20 points or more in each of his last six outings. With the rest of the roster has been unable to perform consistently on a nightly basis, Kawhi Leonard has waged a lonely battle on multiple occasions.
With no LeBron James or Anthony Davis in the LA Lakers lineup, Kawhi Leonard could play a key role in the LA Clippers doing the double over their more illustrious opponents.
Point Guard - Reggie Jackson l Shooting Guard - Paul George l Small Forward - Kawhi Leonard l Power Forward - Marcus Morris Sr. l Center - Ivica Zubac.
Lakers vs Clippers Prediction
The LA Lakers don't have a great record playing against top teams in the absence of LeBron James or Anthony Davis.
With the star LA Lakers duo absent for this game, the LA Clippers would fancy their chances of a win. However, the LA Lakers have momentum on their side, which could prove pivotal in the eventual scheme of things.
A Lakers-Clippers matchup seldom disappoints. So despite the absence of multiple stars, their latest meeting could still be an enticing affair.
Where to watch Lakers vs Clippers?
The game between the LA Lakers and the LA Clippers will be televised nationally on ABC. Local coverage will be available on Spectrum SportsNet. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.