Los Angeles Lakers at Washington Wizards Game Thread

USA TODAY Sports

Your guide, preview and game thread for tonight when the Lakers travel to the District to take on the Wizards.

The Los Angeles Lakers (7-7) will look to put themselves over .500 tonight when they travel to D.C. to take on the Washington Wizards (5-8). Here's what you need to know:

Time: 7:00pm eastern, 5:00pm pacific

Watch on: NBA TV

Venue: The Phone Booth (The Verizon Center); Washington, D.C.

Probable Starters:

Steve Blake PG John Wall
Jodie Meeks SG Martell Webster
Wesley Johnson SF Trevor Ariza
Jordan Hill PF Nene
Pau Gasol C Marcin Gortat

Injuries: The Black Mamba is still out for the Lakers with that Achilles injury and Steve Nash will miss another game with nerve root irritation. Chris Kaman (sore back) is also doubtful. Bradley Beal (sore fibula), Al Harrington (knee), Chris Singleton (foot), and Otto Porter (hip) are all out for the Wizards.

The last time these teams met: The Wizards beat the Lakers at the Staples Center last March 103-100. John Wall led the way with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 16 assists while Kobe Bryant had 21 points and 11 assists. The two teams split the series last season 1-1.

Story: The Lakers are looking to get over the hump and get themselves a winning record, the Wizards on the other hand will try to win a game without Bradley Beal leading the way. Beal is expected to miss the next two weeks with a leg injury that appears to just be soreness. The second year shooting guard leads the Wizards in minutes played per game with over 40 and leads them in scoring with over 20 points-per-game. Wizards fans will, uh, "welcome back" Nick Young who is third in the NBA this season in points-per-game for players who have come off the bench in multiple games. "Swaggy P" is also shooting 38 percent from behind the arc.

Steve Blake also returns to familiar territory in the DMV; in 2002 he helped lead the Maryland Terrapins to an NCAA title with fellow back court mate Juan Dixon. Also during his time as a Terp, he became the 1st player in ACC history to record at least 1,000 points, 800 assists, 400 rebounds and 200 steals. Blake was also drafted by the Wizards in the 2003 NBA Draft, playing 119 games with the Wizards. "Blake Mamba" is 8th in the league in assists per game this season and leads the Lakers in minutes played (443).

Stat you didn't know: In five starts this season, Seattle native Martell Webster has averaged 14.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

Prediction: Wall and Blake both light up the stat sheet with assists, but in the end Wall will show why he's a max player and lead the Wizards to a victory.

Lakers: 91, Wizards: 97

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