Lakers’ Nick Young, Robert Sacre listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game in Utah

Portland Trail Blazers' Steve Blake (25) defends against Los Angeles Lakers' Nick Young (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday Feb. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

Portland Trail Blazers’ Steve Blake (25) defends against Los Angeles Lakers’ Nick Young (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday Feb. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

MRI exams turned out negative surrounding both Nick Young’s sore left knee and Robert Sacre’s sore left foot, leaving their status as questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz (20-34) at EnergySolutions Arena.

The Lakers do not consider the injury serious and they still have time before Tuesday’s practice to further assess if they will participate.

Young did not practice on Monday after the feeling pain in his left knee during the Lakers’ win on Sunday over Boston. Scott said that Sacre tried to practice before feeling a “sharp pain” in his left foot.

Young has averaged 13.4 points on 36.6 percent shooting in 23.8 minutes off the bench. Sacre has averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 16.2 minutes. He has also averaged 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds through the past 12 games as a starter.


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Lakers’ Nick Young (left knee), Robert Sacre (left foot) suffer injuries

Celtics, Gerald Wallace,45, Los Angeles Laker Nick Young ,0, during the second quarter at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, February 22, 2015. (Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

Celtics, Gerald Wallace,45, Los Angeles Laker Nick Young ,0, during the second quarter at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, February 22, 2015. (Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

The rare euphoria and buzz over the Lakers’ overtime victory on Sunday over the Boston Celtics relatively simmered with some more unwelcome injury news.

Lakers forward Nick Young experienced soreness in his left knee and Robert Sacre nursed a sore left foot, prompting the team to end practice early on Monday. The Lakers (14-41) will reexamine Young and Sacre later on Monday before determining their availability for Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz (20-34) at EnergySolutions Arena. But Lakers coach Byron Scott initially reported that Lakers trainer Gary Vitti did not consider the injuries serious.

“I’m not really worried about it right now,” Scott said. “Gary didn’t seem too overly concerned about it. But we want to make sure there is nothing there before we saw where those guys are.”

Young did not practice on Monday after the feeling pain in his left knee during the Lakers’ win on Sunday over Boston. Scott said that Sacre tried to practice before feeling a “sharp pain” in his left foot.

Young has averaged 13.4 points on 36.6 percent shooting in 23.8 minutes off the bench. Sacre has averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 16.2 minutes. He has also averaged 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds through the past 12 games as a starter.

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Lakers’ Byron Scott says he should have won more NBA titles as a player


Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers still find meaning in Celtics rivalry with 118-11 overtime win

Los Angeles Laker Jeremy Lin,17, drives for a basket during the fourth quarter agains the Celtics. (Photo by Stephen Carr/Daily Breeze)

Los Angeles Laker Jeremy Lin,17, drives for a basket during the fourth quarter agains the Celtics. (Photo by Stephen Carr/Daily Breeze)

The boos serenaded all over Staples Center as the despised Celtics stepped on the court one-by-one during starting lineup introductions. The buzz roared louder and louder like a flock of bees when the Lakers fought for every loose ball and made clutch shots. Once the Lakers concluded a 118-111 overtime victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday at Staples Center, the purple and gold streams dropped out of the rafters.

With everything else falling apart in this broken Lakers season, it at least appeared comforting that one positive development remained. The Lakers (14-41) snapped a seven-game losing streak by defeating the Celtics (20-33), the team that everyone that bleeds purple and gold loves to hate through both NBA Finals slugfests and otherwise meaningless regular season games.

“The boos were louder than I’ve heard in a while,” Lakers coach Byron Scott, remembering what the atmosphere was like when the Showtime Lakers slugged it out against the Celtics in the 1980′s. “I think our fans understand that history of the two organizations. I’m enjoying it a little bit more tonight.”
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Lakers’ Byron Scott second guesses not fouling Celtics’ Avery Bradley on game-tying 3

The smile widened on Byron Scott’s face. His voice sounded at ease. Scott appeared noticeably relaxed as he sat at the podium talking about a rare Lakers’ win.

But this wasn’t just any ordinary victory. The Lakers secured a 118-111 overtime win against the hated Boston Celtics on Sunday at Staples Center, an outcome that snapped a seven-game losing streak and provided nostalgia and competitive moments in a rivalry usually playing out in June.

“I enjoy this a lot more,” Scott said, grinning. “I’m a happy man tonight.”

Yet, Scott’s feeling of ecstasy could have easily vanished had the Lakers not held Boston scoreless for nearly a four-minute stretch in overtime, while both Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer and Wesley Johnson provided key baskets. Celtics guard Avery Bradley forced the game into overtime after hitting a 25-foot three-pointer as time expired, a play that could have been avoided had the Lakers intentionally fouled beforehand.

After all, the Lakers also refused to foul Milwaukee Bucks forward and former USC product O.J. Mayo three weeks ago only for him to make a corner 24-foot 3-pointer with .5 seconds left to force overtime. The Bucks won, 113-105, in extra regulation.

“That’s twice I was thinking about it and they hit a three and went into overtime,” Scott said. “I don’t know if I’ll think about it next time. I might just do it. I don’t know yet.”
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Lakers’ Carlos Boozer to start against Boston

"Lakers Carlos Boozer slams in two points during first half action at Staples Center Sunday, December 7, 2014.   ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News ) "

“Lakers Carlos Boozer slams in two points during first half action at Staples Center Sunday, December 7, 2014. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News ) “

It took nearly two months for Lakers forward Carlos Boozer to reclaim his starting spot. It took only two days for him to do so after sitting out of a game because of a coach’s decision.

Welcome to the Lakers’ 2014-15 season where tonight’s game against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center will have little to do with rekindling a once great rivalry. Instead, this will mark one of the Lakers’ 28 remaining games where coach Byron Scott could field a different starting lineup. Boozer will replace rookie Tarik Black, while Jordan Clarkson, Wayne Ellington, Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre will still start.

“The second unit, he was our go to guy,” Scott said of Boozer. “He did a great job. With the starting unit, I’m trying to see if he can keep that same type of role and playing the way he was playing. It’ll be interesting to see. He’s a professional and will be okay with it.”
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Lakers’ Byron Scott could make lineup changes against Boston

Byron Scott

A Sunday matchup between the Lakers and Celtics usually meant a few things.

The NBA would showcase a nationally televised game that featured its fiercest rivalry based on plenty of star power and physical play. The game would also serve as an NBA Finals preview. Yet, when the Lakers (13-41) host the Boston Celtics (20-32) on Sunday at Staples Center, none of those elements will emerge.

Instead, the most captivating storyline could entail which starting lineup Lakers coach Byron Scott will showcase. Scott conceded there are “one or two things I’m thinking about doing,” before declining to reveal those contingency plans.

“It’s a little bit of a gut feeling and things I want to see,” Scott said. “Try to see if I can get more of a chemistry with certain guys working with other guys.”
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Lakers’ Byron Scott praise Carlos Boozer, Wesley Johnson for handling DNP

The Los Angeles Lakers held a press conference to announce the addition of Carlos Boozer to the team Friday, July 25, 2014, El Segundo, CA. Photo by Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze

The Los Angeles Lakers held a press conference to announce the addition of Carlos Boozer to the team Friday, July 25, 2014, El Segundo, CA. Photo by Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze

The demotion to the bench earlier this season once seemed so beneath Lakers forward Carlos Boozer. The two-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist openly questioned Lakers coach Byron Scott publicly, while refusing to address him about it privately.

But when Boozer sat because of a coach’s decision in the Lakers’ 114-105 loss on Friday to the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center, the 12-year NBA veteran handled the matter completely differently. Boozer talked to reporters, but declined to question Scott’s rotation. Scott then reported that Boozer approached him about it afterwards.

Scott reported Boozer expressed concern that his absence during Wednesday’s practice after the All-Star break because of transportation problems returning from his hometown in Miami influence his eventual DNP.

“It’s never personal with me. “I never play guys because I’m mad,” Scott said on Saturday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I don’t hold no grudges because of that. If you can help me win games, I’ll put you on the court. I don’t have to like you at all. But that’s not the case with Carlos.”

Instead, Scott explained that Boozer’s absence stemmed from something else. Scott wanted to play Jordan Hill off the bench after missing the previous five games because of a right hip flexor. Scott also became curious with how Hill would fare with forward Ed Davis. The pair combined for 28 points and 24 rebounds, and represented a fourth-quarter unit that nearly chipped away at the Nets’ 22-point lead. Yet, Scott suggested Boozer’s absence likely will not become prolonged.

“I just told him it was something I was trying to experiment with and it didn’t go the way I expected it to go,” Scott said. “I wasn’t happy with it. It probably won’t happen again.”

The same applies to Wesley Johnson, who also sat because of a coach’s decision while Ryan Kelly (12 points on 4 of 8 shooting) and Nick Young (five points on 2 of 9 shooting) played at small forward.

“Wes was good, too,” Scott said. “I told him the same thing. It was something I was trying.”

Scott normally does not explain his thought process directly to players about his rotations. He only does so when reporters ask him. Or if players approach him. Young talked with Scott after the Lakers’ forward sat last month in New York despite receiving medical clearance from a sprained right ankle. Jeremy Lin also spoke with Scott both after losing his starting point guard spot 20 games into the 2014-15 season and when he sat during Jordan Clarkson’s starting debut because of a coach’s decision.

But Scott has occasionally differed from his approach. He alerted veteran guard Ronnie Price two weeks ago he would sit up until the All-Star break partly to heal from a sprained right elbow. Scott also decided to circle back with Boozer and Johnson, both of whom had declined to complain about their absence.

“Because of those two guys, and the respect I have for them is the only reason I told them that,” Boozer said. “This is what I did last night and this is the reason why. I don’t have to explain to why I’m doing it. Carlos has been great a true professional. So I thought, Let me tell you what I’m doing and why I did it and we’ll just go from there.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers’ Byron Scott said Julius Randle “definitely” playing in Summer League

Rookie forward Julius Randle is eager to show the Lakers they made a smart choice by taking him seventh in the NBA Draft in June. (Thomas R. Cordova/Staff Photographer)

Rookie forward Julius Randle is eager to show the Lakers they made a smart choice by taking him seventh in the NBA Draft in June. (Thomas R. Cordova/Staff Photographer)

A mark of the sign of the Lakers’ current demise that coach Byron Scott suddenly looked ahead to the team’s summer league squad in mid-February. But Scott revealed something far more notable than anything surrounding when the Lakers (13-41) host the Boston Celtics (20-32) at Staples Center. Scott said that Lakers rookie forward will “definitely” play on the Lakers’ 2015 Las Vegas Summer League team.

The Lakers’ summer league team will also feature rookie guard Jordan Clarkson and up to four rookies, including a possible top-five pick, a mid first-round pick and two possible second-round selections.

“I already told Julius and Jordan,’” Scott said, “you guys should dominate.”
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Lakers’ Carlos Boozer downplays D-N-P in 114-105 loss to Brooklyn

Head coach Byron Scott of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to Carlos Boozer #5 during their game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on November 1, 2014 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Head coach Byron Scott of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to Carlos Boozer #5 during their game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on November 1, 2014 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

A man who once won an Olympic gold medal and appeared in two All-Star games suddenly sat on the bench as part of an unexpected coach’s decision.

Yet, Lakers forward Carlos Boozer consistently declined to question coach Byron Scott for sitting in the Lakers’ 114-105 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday at Staples Center.

“Byron knows what he’s doing,” Boozer said. “We follow suit and we follow what he does.”

Lakers forward Wesley Johnson also fell out of the rotation. He was available to reporters afterwards, but was not around once Scott’s press conference ended.

Scott chalked up the new developments to Jordan Hill playing in his first game after missing the previous five because of a sore right hip flexor. Scott also wanted to pair forward Ed Davis with Hill, a pairing that combined for 28 points and 24 rebounds off the bench.

“I didn’t tell them,” Scott said. “It was a spur of the moment thing.”

Scott sounded skeptical he would field the same lineup, noting he “didn’t like the results of tonight.” Scott also said half jokingly, “I might change the whole starting five” after seeing the Nets outscore the Lakers, 40-20, in the third quarter.

Yet, Boozer’s development seemed notable for a few reasons. Boozer had questioned Scott after he demoted him as a starter to a reserve for defensive reasons 20 games into the season. Boozer has averaged 12.5 point son 51.6 percent shooting and seven rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game.

“If he’s upset, he’s upset,” Scott said. “But am I concerned about that? Not really. I think he’ll handle it as a professional. But if he doesn’t, its not going to bother me.”

Well, Boozer quickly dismissed any possibility of this becoming a problem.

“I’ve been a good teammate to my teammates,” Boozer said, “cheering my teammates on and thought we had a chance to win the game at the end. We had a shot.”

Although Boozer questioned Scott’s demotion earlier in the season, he maintained his outwardly positive demeanor. Lakers officials and teammates alike routinely praise Boozer for his enthusiasm that includes celebratory gestures following big plays and complimenting others.

“I just hoop,” Boozer said. “I don’t think about that stuff like you guys do. When I go out there, I do the best I can.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers’ Mitch Kupchak stresses he won’t “jeopardize” financial flexibility, youth in offseason rebuild

LA Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak will be the leader of the Lakers’ search for a new coach.. (File photo by Brad Graverson/The Daily Breeze)

LA Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak will be the leader of the Lakers’ search for a new coach.. (File photo by Brad Graverson/The Daily Breeze)

The Lakers want to win as many NBA championships as possible. So does Kobe Bryant.

But Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak strongly suggested on Friday that he will place higher priority this offseason on protecting the team’s financial flexbility and youth long-term interests than ensuring Kobe Bryant a good enough roster to win an NBA championship next season. Then, Bryant will return following a season-ending right shoulder injury in what would likely mark the end of a storied 20-year NBA career.

“At some point we have to start a new run, and that’s definitely going to include Kobe next year,” Kupchak said on Friday with a small panel of reporters that regularly cover the Lakers. “To jeopardize the next five or seven years – I’m maybe getting ahead of myself – bring in old veterans that make a lot of money, just to win one more year, because that’s Kobe’s last year or could be his last year, I’m not sure that fits into doing it the right way.”
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