LeBron James didn’t play because of flu-like symptoms. Anthony Davis missed his second consecutive game because of a bruised backside. Danny Green didn’t play because of a sore right hip.
With three starters out, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said before the game, “We expect to win.”
Kyle Kuzma had a season-high 36 points and the Lakers built a 33-point lead in the third quarter behind a group effort in defeating Oklahoma City 125-110 on Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Rajon Rondo started at point guard in place of James and was masterful in producing a near triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to help the Lakers win their eighth consecutive game.
The Lakers had six players score in double figures; four off the bench. Reserve center Dwight Howard had a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds, Quinn Cook had 13 points, Troy Daniels 12 and Alex Caruso 11.
Though James played against Dallas on Friday night and had 35 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists in 32 minutes, he has been dealing with his illness for days.
Vogel said it was best to sit James on the second night of back-to-back games.
“His chest was burning all throughout the game,” Vogel said of James’ effort Friday. “We had to get him out early in the first quarter. I was using timeouts to get him rest. But most of my timeouts was just centered around just helping him fight through the chest cold. So we knew that with the quick turnaround and recovery time, I think there was a chance he missed tonight.”