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Tarik Black shows off the strength by finishing with the contact in the third quarter against the Pacers.
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Myles Turner drives and hits the layup, plus the foul, in the second quarter against the Lakers.
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Nick Young leaves the game in excruciating pain after suffering a non-contact injury in the second quarter against the Pacers.

LOS ANGELES -- Lakers starting point guard D'Angelo Russell exited Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers after suffering a mild MCL sprain in his right knee, as well as a strained right calf.

Russell did not return for the second half and is scheduled to have an MRI tomorrow.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft suffered the injury early in the first quarter, when he went down awkwardly after apparently stepping on teammate Julius Randle's foot.

Russell remained down, clutching his right knee, while being surrounded by teammates and the Lakers' head athletic trainer. He left the game with 10:48 left in the first quarter, walked to the bench under his own power and then to the Lakers' locker room soon thereafter, where he received further examination.

The second-year point guard entered Friday averaging 14.8 points, 4.5 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. In late November and part of December, Russell missed 12 games -- including 11 straight -- with what the Lakers called a sore left knee.

Nick Young suffered a hyperextended left knee in the first half but returned.

In other team injury news, Larry Nance Jr. has been cleared to practice and to play in limited minutes Sunday at Dallas after missing the past 15 games with a bone bruise in his left knee.

Nance suffered the injury Dec. 20 at Charlotte and has been sidelined ever since.


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Brandon Ingram takes on Monta Ellis in the post and burns him for the layup in the first quarter.
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D'Angelo Russell falls and lands awkwardly, leaving him in pain on the ground early in the first quarter against the Pacers.

Larry Nance Jr., Los Angeles LakersJayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY SportsLarry Nance Jr. has been cleared to play after missing the past 15 games with a bone bruise in his left knee.

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. has been cleared to practice and to play in limited minutes Sunday at Dallas after missing the past 15 games with a bone bruise in his left knee.

Nance suffered the injury Dec. 20 at Charlotte and has been sidelined ever since.

The second-year forward out of Wyoming has been a key reserve for the Lakers, averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22.4 minutes over 28 games. He's shooting 58.4 percent from the field and has recorded a pair of double-doubles.

Nance's status update came after he was examined prior to the Lakers' Friday tilt against the Indiana Pacers by team physician Dr. David McAllister of UCLA Health.

Lakers forward Luol Deng missed his second straight game with a sprained right wrist but told reporters before Friday's game that an MRI on his wrist came back negative and that he hoped to practice Saturday and play Sunday at Dallas.

ESPN's Jovan Buha contributed to this report.


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On Jan. 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant dropped 81 points against Toronto to steal headlines from Championship Sunday in the NFL.

Lakers' Larry Nance Jr. nears return after missing a month because of knee injury: The Lakers ruled out Larry Nance Jr. for Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, but he is nearing his return to playing. Nance went through a full practice Thursday at the Toyota Sports Center and impressed Lakers Coach Luke Walton. “Yesterday they left out the last thing, more physical drills,” Nance said Thursday. -- Los Angeles Times

Brandon Ingram credits improved shooting to consistent work habits: Brandon Ingram has identified the problem, and he’s addressing it. Battling shooting slumps throughout his rookie season, the 19-year-old forward added extra shooting sessions before practice and before games with assistant coach Brian Keefe. Ingram also makes late-night visits to the Lakers’ practice facility. During those sessions, the Lakers coaching staff repeats a similar message. -- The Orange County Register

Julius Randle continues his growing pains on the court: Effort is rarely an issue for Julius Randle, the blue-collar forward who was the seventh pick in the 2014 draft, but consistency in decision-making, performance and production has been elusive. Randle endured more growing pains Tuesday in the Lakers’ 127-121 loss to Denver, making two of eight shots for seven points and committing five turnovers. -- Los Angeles Times

Lakers’ Luke Walton likes how D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle handled sitting late in Tuesday’s loss to Denver: The unspoken words told Lakers coach Luke Walton that Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell and Lakers forward Julius Randle would not sulk about sitting out in fourth-quarter stretches. Their effort in Wednesday’s practice showed Walton they will channel any frustration with diminished playing time productively on the court. “There was also a nice feistiness to practice with guys getting after it,” Walton said. -- Los Angeles Daily News

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Ramona Shelburne joins SportsCenter to examine why Magic Johnson was meeting with Lakers president Jeanie Buss on Tuesday night.

Magic Johnson vows to stay patient as young Lakers endure growing pains: The smile was unmistakably Magic Johnson and evoked his excitement at watching a young Lakers team grow. Moments later, Johnson shook his head incredulously over the inexperienced roster’s learning curve. “Fans have to be encouraged, but Lakers fans are tired of losing,” Johnson told Southern California News Group. -- The Orange County Register

Lakers stage fourth-quarter rally, but fall short to Nuggets, 127-121: The Los Angeles Lakers extended their losing streak to five with a 127-121 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Staples Center on Tuesday night, their 21st loss in 26 games since Dec. 2, but unlike so many of their previous defeats, this one didn’t leave such a sour taste in their mouths. -- Los Angeles Times

Lakers' Luol Deng is out 'indefinitely' with sprained right wrist: Lakers forward Luol Deng suffered a sprained right wrist Sunday night against the Detroit Pistons and was inactive for Tuesday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets. Deng had an X-ray, which was negative. The team announced an hour before the game that Deng, who is averaging 8.1 points and 5.8 rebounds while playing an average of 27.6 minutes a game, is “out indefinitely,” but it did not specify whether that meant days or weeks. -- Los Angeles Times

Through team struggles, Lakers Coach Luke Walton hasn't considered changing starters: During the past two months, a difficult stretch for the Lakers, they’ve remained steady with one thing: injuries aside, their preferred starting lineup hasn’t changed. And it won’t any time soon. Lakers Coach Luke Walton hasn't considered a change to that group. -- Los Angeles Times

Lakers show good, bad and ugly in 127-121 loss to Nuggets: When they weren’t inspiring with the way they sliced into a sizable deficit, they were frustrating with the way they allowed Denver to score at will. The Lakers’ 127-121 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday at Staples Center summed up the team’s good, bad and ugly during a season that’s been characterized by youthful promise and youthful mistakes. -- The Orange County Register

Why Lakers' Luke Walton has not considered changing his starting lineup: The starting lineup has fluctuated nearly every three games the Lakers have played. It happened again when Lakers forward Luol Deng missed Tuesday’s game against Denver because of a sprained right wrist suffered during Sunday’s loss to Detroit. Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram took the place of Deng, whose timetable is indefinite after X-rays turned out negative. The Lakers’ 14 starting lineups this season all stem from overlapping injuries or rest needs. Even through the Lakers’ inconsistency, Walton said he has never entertained changing his starting lineup. -- The Orange County Register

Lakers coach Luke Walton draws a line in the sand: It took 36 ugly minutes, plus many a long December and January night, but the Lakers rediscovered the grit, joy and effort that made them such unlikely contenders for a playoff spot early in the season. And Luke Walton finally found a lineup that provided those things. The Lakers chipped away at a 17-point deficit, crawled within one. They glided back on defense and a certain lanky center challenged shots at the rim. -- The Orange County Register

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LOS ANGELES -- Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 15 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets withstood a furious late rally by the Los Angeles Lakers to hold on for a 127-121 victory Tuesday night.

Denver led by 19 late in the third quarter only to see the Lakers close within one with 1:59 to play. The comeback fell short, however, and Los Angeles lost its fifth consecutive game.

Will Barton added 26 points and eight assists to help the Nuggets win their third straight. Kenneth Faried had 20 points and seven rebounds.

Lou Williams scored 24 points and Nick Young had 22 for the struggling Lakers, who have won just five of their last 26 games.


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Wilson Chandler drives to the basket and throws down a huge one-handed dunk over Lakers center Ivica Zubac.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Louis Williams
PTS AST STL MIN
17.8 3.1 1.1 24.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Randle 8.6
AssistsD. Russell 4.5
StealsD. Russell 1.3
BlocksL. Nance Jr. 0.6