The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the middle of a critical four-game West Coast trip that features this Clippers and Lakers back-to-back set, which the OKC Thunder are preparing for the second leg of. After a tough loss to the Clippers on Thursday which momentarily knocks them out of the NBA postseason, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will play in his first back-to-back set since returning from injury.
OKC Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault has been very open about the team’s plans to manage Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the condensed schedule to end the season as he continues to nurse an abdominal strain.
The Oklahoma City Thunder announced that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will play on Friday night against the L.A. Lakers in the second leg of a back-to-back.
Yesterday, the OKC Thunder fell apart down the stretch of the game against the Clippers, resulting in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander only logging 26 minutes of action. This, along with the earlier report on Tuesday from the Thunder bench boss Mark Daigneault that the Thunder was “open-minded” in allowing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to play back-to-back the rest of the season, was a good sign.
Aleksej Pokusevski is also back for the Oklahoma City Thunder as the OKC Blue G-League season wraps up, where he was assigned as he rehabbed from a leg injury sustained in December.
Kenrich Williams (wrist) and Chet Holmgren (foot) remain out for the OKC Thunder, as the organization has tabbed those two as out for the season.
Not only will the Lakers miss LeBron James, but key NBA Trade Deadline acquisition D’Angelo Russell will also miss this game. In addition, Mo Bamba, Scotty Pippen Jr, and Cole Swider are also out.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and L.A. Lakers desperately need a win in this game for the current standings race and the long-term tiebreaker between these two clubs.