Lakers' Kuzma to undergo MRI on back injury

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Making matters more complicated for the Lakers is the fact that they're missing second leading scorer Kyle Kuzma (lower back bruise) and Rajon Rondo (finger surgery) on top of James.

"Honestly think our small-ball unit can be really good", Kuzma said at shootaround Wednesday ahead of the Lakers' game against the Detroit Pistons.

The four-time NBA MVP already has missed four games after getting hurt during the Lakers' victory at Golden State on Christmas. Although the Lakers dismantled the Warriors with their best player out for the majority of the second half, the team has struggled mightily of late in his absence. "We talk all year, we need everyone on our team".

Two JaVale McGee dunks and then a attractive Ingram drive and layup to make it 106-97 with 1:03 to go, sealing Los Angeles' third consecutive win over Dallas this season.

LeBron James has now been sidelined for 8 straight Lakers games and will be missing the trip to Utah as well, as his groin injury recovery is still in process.

James, a three-time NBA champion who has played in the past eight NBA Finals, left Cleveland in July to sign with the Lakers.

Ball said the Lakers weren't physical enough to put up a challenge against the Timberwolves, who fired coach Tom Thibodeau shortly after the game.

The Mavericks have covered the spread in their last six games following a loss and in 19 of their last 26 home games. The Lakers won 127-101. We've got to make it a dire situation. Doncic, though, is hitting 40.5 percent of his 3-pointers in that stretch and 43.1 percent of his shots overall.

Dallas, though, has been remarkable at home with 15 wins in 18 games. The Dallas Mavericks are averaging 110.2 points on 45.3 percent shooting and allowing 109.7 points on 46.1 percent shooting.

With James being out of the lineup for another game, the Lakers will be forced to continue to adapt and adjust without their franchise player.

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