James Harden leaves game versus Lakers with left leg injury

Dean Simpson
January 1, 2018

The Los Angeles Lakers have lost 10 of their past 13 games and they will be hoping to avoid a sixth straight defeat after falling to the Clippers in a 121-106 rout on Friday.

The Fil-American guard is being tagged as one of the players that the Lakers may have to "sacrifice" as they look to build enough salary cap room to be in a position to contend in the LeBron James and Paul George free-agency sweepstakes at the end of the season. If he's out for any prolonged period of time it could be a problem for the Rockets.

This leadership group, however, is yet to be tested by a losing season, and Walton would be the first of the Lakers last four coaches to make it to make it to a third season on the sideline. Trevor Ariza scored a season-high 26 points.

Randle only played eight minutes during the Lakers' first trip to Houston on December 20, finishing the game with four points, a rebound and an assist. The Rockets MVP candidate exited the game with 44 seconds left and was ruled out by the team in the second overtime.

Ariza put in a corner 3 to cut the lead in half and Harden beat Julius Randle off the dribble for the three-point play to tie the game. Although the game went into overtime, Harden did not return. He was unavailable for overtime.

Clippers: Rivers said before the game that Griffin (sprained left medial collateral ligament) would not be on a minutes limit in his first game back since November 11.

During the period's waning seconds, Brandon Ingram drove to the basket and was fouled by P.J. Tucker with the Lakers trailing 133-131. He made all six free throws he took during the game. As a team, the Lakers shot 49 percent from the field but just three of 19 from the three-point line as they fell behind by double digits in the first quarter and never threatened.

The Lakers reclaimed the lead before Paul went to work in the final minute. After another eruption netted him 31 points on Christmas night, he has hit the first cold spell of his career, scoring 22 points in his last two games combined on 10-of-38 shooting (2-of-18 on 3's).

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