The Los Angeles Lakers will visit the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on Wednesday evening.
Los Angeles (31-36) has won 16 of its last 23 games and has quietly been one of the league's better teams since the start of the new year. On Tuesday, the Lakers out-played the Denver Nuggets, earning a 112-103 win at Staples Center. In the win, rookie forward Kyle Kuzma scored 26 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Kuzma has been among the league's best rookies this season, as he is averaging 15.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Julius Randle, the Lakers' other young and promising power forward, has also enjoyed recent success. On Tuesday, Randle also scored 26 points and had 13 rebounds. The big game came on the heels of a career-high 36 points for Randle on Sunday.
Golden State (51-16) is coming off back-to-back losses, an occurrence that has been rare for the Warriors in the Steve Kerr era. Superstar point guard Steph Curry has been out with an ankle injury that will keep him sidelined for at least one more week. Andre Iguodala (wrist) and David West (arm) will also miss Wednesday's tilt. Still, the reigning champions will not go down easily. The Warriors rank first in the league in points and assists per game, at 115.2 and 30.2 respectively. Former MVP Kevin Durant is in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career, averaging 26.6 points per game while shooting 52 percent from the field. Additionally, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were both selected as All-Stars this season for the third year in a row.