Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers – Game #20

The San Antonio Spurs will try to snap their six-game losing streak tonight when they host the Los Angeles Lakers in the AT&T Center. The Spurs have lost 11 of their last 12 games and now have a record of 6-13.

The Lakers are playing their best basketball of the season. While their overall record is 5-11, they’ve won three of their last four games. During that stretch, the Lakers demolished the Spurs by a final score of 123-92 in Los Angeles. 

Following tonight’s affair, the same two teams will play again tomorrow night. That game will also be in San Antonio. 

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

First, let’s begin with the good news. Zach Collins is back after missing a little more than two weeks with a non-displaced fracture of his left fibula. When Collins first went down with the injury, it was feared that he’d miss up to a month of action.

Jordan Hall is also available. He dislocated a finger at the very end of San Antonio’s last game, a 129-110 loss against the New Orleans Pelicans (see the Grades). Yesterday, the Spurs had listed Hall as questionable.

The Spurs have also recalled rookie Malaki Branham from the Austin Spurs and he is available to play tonight.

Unfortunately, there are multiple nuggets of bad news. Josh Richardson, who missed the game against the Pelicans with a sprained right ankle, is out again tonight versus the Lakers. Joining Richardson on the sidelines will be Doug McDermott, who is dealing with a sprained left ankle. 

Richardson and McDermott being out is a big blow, as they’ve been the Spurs two leading bench scorers this season. McDermott is averaging 10.3 points per game, while Richardson is averaging 10.2 points.

Los Angeles Lakers Injury Update

LeBron James has been out since Nov. 9 due to injury. However, he is expected to try to make his return to action tonight against the Spurs. On the season, the 37-year-old is averaging 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists in 35.0 minutes per game.

Patrick Beverley is out after he was suspended three games for pushing Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns. Beverley will miss both games between the Lakers and Spurs this weekend.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

Expect head coach Gregg Popovich to trot out the same starting five: Tre Jones at point guard, Devin Vassell at shooting guard, Keldon Johnson at small forward, Jeremy Sochan at power forward and Jakob Poeltl at center.

Off the bench, things will be different than usual due to the ankle injuries suffered by Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott. Popovich will likely use four primary bench players: Zach Collins, Keita Bates-Diop, Romeo Langford and Isaiah Roby.

Betting Guide: Spurs vs. Lakers

The Lakers are favored by 3 points and the over/under is set at 232. Considering how much the Spurs are struggling, it’s difficult to imagine that they’ll win — especially if LeBron James is back in the lineup. The Lakers easily beat the Spurs less than a week ago and that was without James. Therefore, the smart bet is to put your money on the Lakers to cover the spread.