National Basketball Association
L.A. Lakers at Golden State
When: 10:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
The Golden State Warriors no longer possess their season-best 14-game winning streak but aim to finish the regular season on a positive note when they host the suddenly hot Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Top-seeded Golden State dropped a 105-99 decision to Utah on Monday and figures to limit the minutes of its starters to remain fresh for the postseason.
Los Angeles has ripped off five consecutive victories, including a solid 108-96 win over New Orleans on Tuesday, to leave first-year coach Luke Walton feeling encouraged. "It has been an amazing year so far," Walton told reporters after Tuesday's win. "There have been a lot of ups and downs. It's been a great year with these guys." The Warriors want All-Star forward Kevin Durant (knee) to further his comfort level with his teammates after recently returning from a knee injury, and he produced 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in each of his first two games back. "Overall, I felt good on the defensive end, got a few dunks," Durant told reporters after the contest against Utah. "I guess that's the last piece of the puzzle."TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles), CSN Bay Area (Golden State)ABOUT THE LAKERS (26-55):
Los Angeles owns its longest winning streak since notching five straight triumphs to end the 2012-13 season, and the late-season success ended its chances of securing the second overall pick in the draft. Phoenix instead will claim that selection while Los Angeles will finish with the league's third-worst record. The Lakers likely will be without guard D'Angelo Russell for the second straight game as he left the team for Louisville, Ky., after the death of his grandmother.ABOUT THE WARRIORS (66-15):
Durant was sidelined for 19 contests, and the loss to Utah marked the first time he and point guard Stephen Curry played together since Feb. 28. Curry scored 42 points twice this month prior to Durant's return, and that renewed the chatter that the two-time MVP's shot-taking prowess decreases when Durant also is in the lineup. "I mean, it's been a while since we played together, but the flow was there," Curry told reporters of his chemistry with Durant. "It was kind of choppy at first. That's the way Utah kind of slowed the tempo down."BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Warriors are 2-1 against the Lakers this season and have won 10 of the last 13 meetings.
2. Los Angeles F Metta World Peace - the former Ron Artest - scored 18 points on Tuesday in what likely was his final home appearance as a Laker.
3. Golden State SF Matt Barnes (ankle) will miss his second straight game, while All-Star PF Draymond Green and veteran swingman Andre Iguodala will be rested.PREDICTION:
Warriors 126, Lakers 101
Stats and Records