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Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma will start in place of the injured Anthony Davis vs. Warriors

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The Los Angeles Lakers will be without star big man Anthony Davis for Wednesday’s contest against the Golden State Warriors due to a combination of shoulder and rib ailments. Without their leading scorer in the mix, the Lakers have tabbed Kyle Kuzma to enter the starting five, hoping that he will provide an offensive spark.

Kuzma, who missed each of Los Angeles’s first four games due to a left ankle injury, has come off the bench in all six games that he has appeared this season. Head coach Frank Vogel has increased his minutes over his past few games and Kuzma’s offensive contributions have followed, having dropped a season-best 23 points during Tuesday’s win over the Phoenix Suns.

Last season, Kuzma was an integral part of the team’s starting five, having drawn the start in 68 of the 70 games that he appeared. He parlayed that role into 18.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while firing up 15.5 shot attempts on a nightly basis. Early on in 2019-20, he hasn’t been able to find that same level of success, averaging 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds while getting just 11.5 shots per contest. He was one of the lone young Lakers to remain with the franchise following the deal to acquire the aforementioned Davis.

Davis’ absence doesn’t appear as if it will be a long one, meaning that Kuzma’s start Wednesday may be a one night bump. He is still in line to be the No. 1 scoring option for the team’s second unit, especially as Rajon Rondo will also be absent versus Golden State, forcing LeBron James into more ball-handling duties.