The Los Angeles Lakers will retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey during halftime on Monday and the Golden State Warriors, who will be visiting, intend to watch the ceremony. The Lakers will retire both Nos. 8 and 24 in honor of Bryant, who was part of five NBA championship teams while spending his entire career with the franchise.
“Just the experience in seeing one of the greatest players in the history of the game getting his jersey retired and we happen to be there,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “I’m not going to keep them in the locker room to watch tape of the first half. The players would look at me like I was nuts. There’s something interesting going on the floor. Let’s go out there.” Golden State hopes to have a lead at halftime and continues to battle through injuries while posting eight consecutive wins. The Lakers are returning home after dropping the final two of a four-game road trip and have been off since 121-112 setback in Cleveland on Thursday. “I think that we showed what our identity is going to be, we are just not all the way there yet,” Lakers coach Luke Walton told reporters. “It is tough to do it for entire stretches of games.”
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (23-6): Golden State expects to be without point guard Stephen Curry (ankle) for another week and already declared starters Zaza Pachulia (shoulder) and Draymond Green (shoulder) out for Monday along with key reserve Shaun Livingston (knee). “It’s gotta be as beaten up as we’ve ever been since I’ve been here,” Kerr told reporters. “I don’t remember having this many guys out, in particularly the starters. It’s all part of it and we’ve handled it really well, obviously, and it’s created some opportunities for other guys and I think they’ve taken advantage. So, it’s all good.” Kevin Durant is carrying a heavier load with all the injuries and is averaging 33.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists over the last four games.
ABOUT THE LAKERS (10-17): Los Angeles dropped seven of its last nine games and allowed at least 113 points in each of those seven setbacks. The Lakers allowed the Cavaliers to shoot 50 percent from the floor in Thursday’s 121-112 loss but got some strong performances on the other end of the floor from some of its young stars. Second-year small forward Brandon Ingram bounced back from a 2-of-12 effort at New York on Tuesday to score 26 points on 10-of-15 on Thursday while rookie Kyle Kuzma added 20 points off the bench.
1. Warriors SG Nick Young (concussion) is expected to return on Monday.
2. Lakers SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will sit out road games outside of California for the next month as part of a plea agreement tied to his arrest for suspicion of drunk driving.
3. Golden State took the last four in the series but needed overtime to earn a 127-123 win at Los Angeles in the last meeting on Nov. 29.
PREDICTION: Warriors 119, Lakers 116