NBA regular season

Lakers host Warriors as both cling to play-in status


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Lakers host Warriors as both cling to play-in status

SHOWDOWN. Lakers guard Austin Reaves dribbles past Warriors guard Stephen Curry.

Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Winning just once in six games without Stephen Curry this season, the Warriors hope to secure a key win against the Lakers with or without their main man

The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers will meet Saturday, March 16 (Sunday, March 17, Manila time) in Los Angeles with both looking to further secure their status as top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

The Warriors (34-31) have dropped three of their last four games while sitting in 10th place and holding the conference’s final play-in tournament spot. The Lakers have split their last four games and sit one spot and one full game ahead of the Warriors in the conference standings.

Golden State enters the game after its 109-99 defeat on the road against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, March 13, when Stephen Curry missed his third consecutive game with a right ankle sprain. Draymond Green also was out with back soreness.

Jonathan Kuminga scored 27 points for the Warriors, while Andrew Wiggins added 17.

Curry has resumed basketball activities after his injury in a game last week against the Chicago Bulls and rejoined the team in Los Angeles. He went through a practice at UCLA on Friday. 

Head coach Steve Kerr said he anticipates Curry will play Saturday, but an official proclamation will not be made until before game time.

The Warriors could use their star’s long-range shooting after struggling to get to the basket against the Mavericks.

“Our defense was not the problem,” Kerr said. “It was much more our offense. They had 13 blocked shots (and) a lot of that was just us wildly driving in at (center Daniel) Gafford without getting a body into him first to take him out of his shot-blocking position. And then just a lot of stagnant possessions. Not enough flow, not enough movement.”

Golden State has won just once in six games without Curry on the court this season, with that victory taking place Monday on the road against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Lakers (36-31) enter off a 120-107 loss on the road to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. Though the Lakers went 0-4 against the Kings this season, they are 1-1 against the Warriors, with their last meeting set for April 9, also in Los Angeles.

Austin Reaves scored 28 points for the Lakers on Wednesday, while Anthony Davis had 22 points and 10 rebounds and LeBron James just missed a triple-double with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists.

Despite the 40 combined points, James and Davis combined to shoot just 13-of-34 (38.2%) from the floor.

“You’re gonna have nights where things don’t go your way, shots don’t go in,” said Lakers head coach Darvin Ham, whose team is 5-3 over its past eight games. 

“You have to find other ways to impact the game… Just feel like it’s a lot of little things that we didn’t do as a unit.”

The Lakers will play their next four games at home then hit the road for a six-game trip. They also finish the regular season with a pair of road games.

“We already knew we were in the gauntlet of our schedule,” James said. “We already knew (with) all the teams that were coming in… it was a tough stretch for our ballclub… We’ve still been playing some good ball.” –

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