The Sacramento Kings are back on the road, as they visit the LA Lakers at the Staples Center on Friday. The Kings are coming off an impressive home win over the Portland Trail Blazers, while the Lakers needed an extra five minutes to defeat the Indiana Pacers.
The Kings got their first win under interim head coach Alvin Gentry on Wednesday. They defeated the Blazers 125-121 despite De'Aaron Fox getting ejected midway through the fourth quarter. Buddy Hield, Davion Mitchell and Marvin Bagley III all had great outings off the bench.
Meanwhile, the Lakers won their tenth game of the season, beating the Indiana Pacers 124-116 in overtime. The Lakers improved to 4-0 in overtime this season. LeBron James came up big in the fourth quarter, hitting a dagger three-point shot and bringing back his silencer celebration.
Sacramento Kings Injury Report
The Sacramento Kings have four players on their injury list for the game against the LA Lakers. Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes are both questionable, while Neemis Queta and Robert Woodard II are out on assignment in the NBA G League.
Barnes suffered a sprained right foot in the game against the Portland Trail Blazers. It's possible the Kings are going to give him additional rest, with Marvin Bagley III stepping up big time in his absence for the rest of the Blazers game.
Holmes is still questionable, and could miss his second straight game due to a right eye contusion. Alex Len started in his place against the Blazers. Meanwhile, Queta is signed to a two-way deal, and Woodard II was a Kings' 2021 draft pick.
LA Lakers Injury Report
The LA Lakers still have a lot of names on their injury report for Friday's matchup with the Sacramento Kings. Trevor Ariza, Chaundee Brown Jr., Jay Huff and Kendrick Nunn are all out, while LeBron James and Austin Reaves are listed as questionable.
Ariza continues to recover from offseason ankle surgery, while Nunn has yet to make his Lakers debut due to a bone bruise in his right knee. Brown Jr. and Huff are signed to two-way contracts, and are currently assigned to the G League. Reaves could make his return after nursing a left hamstring strain in the past two weeks.
Finally, James could miss another game due to an abdominal strain. He missed eight straight games due to the same injury ,and could have aggravated it in the overtime win against the Indiana Pacers. It's also possible the Lakers are just being cautious on James, who is in his 19th season in the NBA.
Sacramento Kings vs LA Lakers: Predicted Lineups
If Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes miss the game against the LA Lakers, Marvin Bagley III and Alex Len are expected to replace them in the starting lineup. They could join small forward Maurice Harkless to complete the frontcourt.
De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton are the starting guards. Off the bench, the Kings are likely going to rely on Buddy Hield to provide buckets and Davion Mitchell to disrupt the opposing teams' wing players.
Damion Jones also played valuable minutes against the Blazer,s and could do the same on Friday against the Lakers. Chimezie Metu and Tristan Thompson are also options off the bench if Barnes and Holmes do not play.
The LA Lakers cannot seem to build any consistency or chemistry due to injuries. If LeBron James misses the game against the Sacramento Kings, Anthony Davis could start at center, with Carmelo Anthony at power forward.
Talen Horton-Tucker will slide down to the starting small forward position, with Russell Westbrook and Avery Bradley in both guard positions to complete the starting five. Malik Monk and Wayne Ellington stretch the floor when they come in, with Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan providing size.
Sacramento Kings vs LA Lakers: Starting 5s
Point Guard - De'Aaron Fox | Shooting Guard - Tyrese Haliburton | Small Forward - Maurice Harkless | Power Forward - Marvin Bagley III | Center - Alex Len.
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Point Guard - Russell Westbrook | Shooting Guard - Avery Bradley | Small Forward - Talen Horton-Tucker | Power Forward - Carmelo Anthony | Center - Anthony Davis.