by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
(photo credit: NBA)
LOS ANGELES — Lakers star forward Kyle Kuzma will undergo an MRI on his lower back on Thursday after exiting Wednesday’s game at halftime against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Lakers suffered a 107-100 loss to the OKC Thunder, as Kuzma finished with 4 points, in 16 minutes. Kuzma is the team’s second leading scorer, and this injury couldn’t have come at a worst time for the Lakers. With Lebron James and Rajon Rondo our due to injuries, Los Angeles relies on Kuzma in the offense.
“He got hit somewhere in the game, something happened during the game,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said. “You could notice he was starting to limp in those last couple minutes he was playing. He said he was fine. They worked on it at halftime; just said, ‘No go.'”
The Lakers are 1-3 thus far without James in the line up since Christmas Day.
The Lakers blew a large lead against the Clippers last Friday night, and were outscored 29-18 in the final quarter against OKC. This young has got to find ways to close out games consistently. Will they do it sooner than later?
“We don’t have a 16-year vet and what’s Rondo, a 13- or 14-year vet?” Josh Hart told reporters. “That’s tough. Obviously we have two- or three-year players trying to close out games and it’s something that’s new to us. Obviously we did a little bit last year, but this year we always had Bron, we had Rondo and guys like that to help settle things down and get us in the stuff.”
With James’ return uncertain anytime soon, he made progress by shooting jumpers on Tuesday. Until his return, the LakeShow will simply have to grind out wins on the hardwood.
The Lakers face another test on Friday night against the New York Knicks at Staples Center. *Lakers are currently in 8th place in the Western Conference.