Lakers to honor Bryant with short-handed Warriors in town
LOS ANGELES — The Golden State Warriors will remain short-handed when they play the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Monday night.
Golden State point guard Stephen Curry is still out with a sprained right ankle sustained Dec. 4 against the New Orleans Pelicans. Curry, who was originally estimated to be sidelined a minimum of two weeks, went through light shooting drills during practice Saturday and will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
Warriors forward Draymond Green will miss his third straight game and fourth in the past five with a lingering right shoulder injury. Green is the team leader in rebounding (7.2) and assists (7.3) while also averaging 10.1 points.
“Everybody is dealing with bumps and bruises,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Sunday, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “With Draymond, it’s probably a cumulative effect of how hard he plays night after night after night. He’s been doing it for a long time. This isn’t the worst thing for Steph and Draymond to get some time off.”
Golden State starting center Zaza Pachulia practiced Saturday, but he will miss his fourth straight game because of a shoulder injury. Added to the injury list is reserve point guard Shaun Livingston, who will sit out due to a bothersome knee.
The Warriors recalled center Damian Jones from Santa Cruz of the G League shortly before it was determined Pachulia would not play.
Nick Young has been cleared after sustaining a concussion Dec. 11 against the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Warriors are expected to have the reserve shooting guard available.
Despite the injuries, Golden State has won a season-high eight consecutive games, a streak that began with an overtime victory against the Lakers at Staples Center on Nov. 29.
Golden State forward Kevin Durant has picked up the slack for his injured teammates, averaging 33.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists in the past four games.
The Lakers will retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in a halftime ceremony Monday, and tickets have been high in demand.
As for the game, the Lakers will try to end a four-game, head-to-head losing streak against the Warriors.
Los Angeles stayed with Golden State through all of regulation last month at Staples Center, but Curry got hot in overtime and the Warriors won 127-123.
Lakers second-year forward Brandon Ingram scored a career-high 32 points in that game, and he will be looking for a strong performance in front of Bryant and a Hollywood-heavy crowd.
Ingram has the locker space at Staples Center formerly occupied by Bryant.
“I think about it every day,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
Ingram is second on the team in scoring (16.2 points per game) behind rookie forward Kyle Kuzma (16.3).
Kuzma will be making his first career appearance against the Warriors. He missed the last game against Golden State after experiencing back spasms during warmups.
Kuzma closed out the team’s four-game road trip with 20 points and seven rebounds in a 121-112 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, the ninth time he scored at least 20 this season.