The Los Angeles Lakers play the Phoenix Suns at Crytpo Arena tonight. This will be the third time these teams meet this season. With a 2-0 series lead, the Lakers are on top. However, there's something different about their meeting this time around. That is, a chance to win $500,000.
Both teams are 3-2 heading into the matchup. Both teams are coming off wins at home. This probably goes without saying, but both teams want an extra $500,000 to put in their back pocket. The Suns (12-8) are fifth in the Western Conference, while the Lakers (12-9) are seventh. This is the highest level of occasion and stakes you'll ever see in December in the NBA. In the past, all NBA fans had to look forward to between opening week in October and the All-Star Game in February was Christmas day games. So, that's kind of awesome. What's considerably less awesome is who's included on the injury report for the Lakers tonight.
LeBron James questionable for tonight's game against the Suns
LeBron James is listed as questionable for tonight's game due to the same left calf contusion that has bothered him all month. In the Lakers' last game against the Houston Rockets on Dec. 2, James played 35 minutes. The 4x MVP finished with 16 points, seven assists, four rebounds, one block, and one steal. Among those 16 points was a 360 layup that no 38-year-old should be able to execute. Hopefully, these few days of rest will pay off for LeBron and he'll be ready to go tonight. In addition to LeBron, Rui Hachimura, Anthony Davis (groin/hip), and Jarred Vanderbilt (heel) are also listed as game-time decisions for tonight.
The Lakers-Suns matchup will be the third of four single-elimination games played per the NBA's new In-Season Tournament. As far as the bracket stands, the winner of this game will move on to the semi-finals in Vegas, where they will meet the New Orleans Pelicans. As for the Eastern Conference, whoever wins the Knicks-Bucks game will play the Indiana Pacers. Hopefully, the Lakers can punch their ticket to Vegas tonight.