The shorthanded LA Lakers travel to Brooklyn to face the Nets, who now have Kevin Durant back in the saddle. KD returned against the Pelicans, looking very well on the floor, and we are pretty sure that one of the best players in the last decade is going to catch up with his teammates pretty quickly. The Nets are chasing the No.1 seed in the East, and the league as well, meaning that they come into every match intending to win. On the other side, the Lakers are trying to minimize the damage caused by LeBron’s and AD’s injuries, and so far, they are doing that solidly. You can’t expect to see this team winning constantly, but overall, the matches they were supposed to solve in their favor ended like that.
Los Angeles Lakers (32-20, +700) are 4-6 in the past ten, but as said before, that is reasonable with all the injuries this team has. They have been subsequently winning and losing in the past six events, beating the teams from the lower part of the standings (Magic, Kings, and the Raptors) while suffering defeats to those in the playoff zone (Bucks, Clippers, and the Heat).
The most recent game was against the Heat in Miami, which was the fourth consecutive away game for Frank Vogel’s crew. Including tonight’s one, the Lakers have three more to play before getting back home to Staples.
They lost to Heat 110-104 in a match that saw them trailing throughout most of the time. On several occasions, the LAL had pushes that would erase the hosts’ advantage, making the contest very interesting, but the champs didn’t have a chance to take the lead and get the game under control. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 28 points, a team-high, with six threes. Dennis Schroder added a double-double, 10 points, and 14 assists with six boards, while Andre Drummond had double-double figures as well, 15 points and 12 boards.
Brooklyn Nets (26-16, -1000) have six wins in the recent seven events, losing only to Chicago during this stretch. Steve Nash’s team had a pause since Wednesday, which came in handy for his boys. That last match played was against the Pelicans, 139-111.
The most important thing regarding the same is that Kevin Durant came back following his injury. The Netts’ superstar had 17 points in 19 minutes, not missing a single shot, 5-for-5 from the field, and the same from the free-throw line. He had five assists, one block, and seven rebounds.
Kyrie and LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for the hosts. Uncle Drew ended the night with 24 points, two more than Aldridge, with both of them shooting 15-for-26 combined.
Head to Head Games
This is the second time this year that the Lakers and Nets meet. Brooklyn was better in the first, taking a W in LA 109-98. Harden had 23 points and 11 assists, Joe Harris dropped 21 with six threes. LeBron scored 32 for the Lakers, grabbing eight boards and seven assists.
The spread on the Nets is -12.5 points. With KD involved and Aldridge, who adjusted perfectly, we will go with the hosts covering that gap. These two guys, along with Blake Griffin, want to play and create chemistry, and Steve Nash is going to allow them to stay on the floor more than needed. Now that means that the Lakers are going to be smashed.
Pick: Nets -12.5.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.