The Lakers are in the midst of a rather miserable season, and on Monday night faced what felt like a must-win (or at minimum, a pivotal game) with their in-town rivals in the Clippers.
The Clippers entered the night in the 8-seed out West, with a five game lead over the Lakers in 10th, meaning a loss would drop the Lakers to six back with 18 games to play. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they were shorthanded on Monday, with Lonzo Ball still out with an ankle injury and Brandon Ingram forced to miss the game with shoulder soreness.
Late in the fourth quarter, with the Lakers trying to mount a comeback, trailing by eight, Kyle Kuzma rolled his ankle as he caught a pass and turned for a layup attempt, collapsing to the floor and missing the shot to add insult to injury.
Kuzma would go to the locker room and not return, as the Clippers held on for a comfortable 113-105 win against a Lakers team that closed the evening down three members of their young core.
Hopefully it’s nothing more than a minor sprain and Kuzma won’t be forced to miss significant time, but any absences from key members of the Lakers only further damages their already slim playoff hopes. Luke Walton noted after the game he wasn’t expecting to have Kuzma for their next game against Denver.