Lakers look to cap successful 6-game trip with matchup in Washington

Continuing their push toward the postseason, the Los Angeles Lakers will look to close a successful road swing on Wednesday night when they visit the Washington Wizards.

The matchup will be the second leg of back-to-back sets for both Los Angeles (43-33) and Washington (15-61), with each team coming off a win on Tuesday.

The Lakers improved to 4-1 on their six-game road trip with a 128-111 defeat of Toronto. The win was the seventh in the last eight games for a Los Angeles team jockeying in a crowded Western Conference playoff race.

The Lakers reside in ninth place, 1 1/2 games behind the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns, who are tied for seventh at 44-31.

D’Angelo Russell scored 25 points Tuesday and Anthony Davis added 21 points and 12 rebounds for his 59th double-double of the season. Davis is on pace for a career-best average of 12.7 rebounds per game.

LeBron James notched 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor and is 23-of-29 over Los Angeles’ last two games. James scored 40 points Sunday in a 116-104 win at Brooklyn.

The four-time NBA MVP and 20-time All-Star has played each of the last four games on the road trip, although Tuesday’s 29 minutes were his fewest. He was non-committal about his availability for Wednesday’s game.

“It all depends how I’m feeling,” James said of playing against Washington. “Every minute counts. I was able to get back (to the locker room during the fourth quarter in Toronto) and get going on a treatment and my prep and start preparing my body hopefully for (Wednesday).”

James and Davis were crucial to Los Angeles winning the most recent time the team faced the Wizards, a 134-131 overtime victory on Feb. 29. Davis collected 40 points and 15 rebounds and James had 31 points and nine assists.

The Wizards’ setback came amid a 16-game losing streak for Washington, which snapped a three-game skid Tuesday with a 117-113 defeat of Milwaukee.

The Wizards overcame a triple-double of 35 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists from Giannis Antetokounmpo, with Corey Kispert’s 27 points pacing six Washington scorers in double figures.

With his 23 points, Deni Avdija recorded his 14th straight game of at least 14. Jordan Poole went for 16 points and dished a career-high 13 assists.

“It’s been great,” Wizards interim coach Brian Keefe said of Poole’s play of late. “He controlled the flow, and this is what we envisioned when we put the ball in his hands more, for his growth and his development.”

Although eliminated from postseason contention long ago, Washington will close its regular season looking to avoid finishing with the worst record in franchise history. This year’s Wizards are two losses shy of matching the 2000-01 and 2008-09 Washington teams for the most defeats in a season.

While wins have come sparingly in Washington’s schedule, Tuesday’s result was the Wizards’ third victory over a team in position to qualify for either the playoffs or play-in since March 10. They knocked off Miami on March 10 and Sacramento on March 21.

–Field Level Media