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Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Newly-signed Nigel Hayes was a huge Kobe Bryant fan and he recounted the time he met the Lakers legend while he was still playing at Wisconsin: "It actually helped me have a better appreciation for the role that I have as a leader... He actually was very simple. I said, ‘Kobe, I love you. I really do. I'm working hard to be half as good as you.' All he said was, ‘Keep working and you will.' Simple. But a lot of people skip over that working part. I just wanted to make sure I continue to do what I do. I got up extra shots here. Whatever you gotta do. It's the little things that people skip over that make the big difference."

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Julius Randle says he has spoken multiple times to Luke Walton about being the team's enforcer and bringing physicality, especially when the opponent is being physical and the Lakers need someone to push back. "He just says the effect it has on our team, so you kind of take that personal and run with it," Randle said. "It is part of a leadership position, it is good that guys kind of look after you, the energy and what you bring to the court and kind of follow that. It's cool."

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Luke Walton said Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is feeling much better and that the training staff is pleased with where the guard's strained Achilles tendon is heading. While Caldwell-Pope isn't playing on Friday, Walton admits the guard returning on Sunday against New York is a possibility. "But it's an Achilles, so we won't rush it," Walton cautioned. "If he's feeling good and ready to go Sunday, we'll play him, it's an early game. If not we'll wait until Tuesday."

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Luke Walton says the team will want to ideally see Lonzo Ball go through a practice before the rookie point guard returns to action. Ball shot a few free throws in slides at the end of shootaround on Friday. The Lakers could practice on Friday before they play the Knicks on Sunday. The next practice time after that could be Monday before Tuesday's game against Boston. Following that, the Lakers have two days before playing at Chicago on Friday.

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Julius Randle jammed his right ring finger and suffered a mallet fracture against Oklahoma City. He will play against Indiana.

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Brandon Ingram (ankle) is a game-time decision. He did not go through shootaround. Kyle Kuzma (hand) will play.

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Trevor Ariza: "I take responsibility for what I did." He wouldn't confirm that he hashed things out with Austin Rivers over the phone. "Whatever happened, that was between me and that person."

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Royce Young ESPN Staff Writer 

Westbrook on LeBron possibly hitting the 30,000-point mark tomorrow, and what kind of achievement that is: "That's crazy man. That's a lot of damn points."

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Royce Young ESPN Staff Writer 

Russell Westbrook asked how disappointed he is to not be named an All-Star starter: "Not at all. All-Star doesn't do anything, change anything, change who you are as a player, what you bring to the game."

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Chris Haynes ESPN Staff Writer 

The initial diagnosis of Jordan Bell is inflammation of the left ankle and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Stefano Fusaro ESPN 

The Rockets Trevor Ariza says he found out about his 2 game suspension from a friend who saw it in the media. Was clearly annoyed at the fact that the media learned about it before he did.

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

The Lakers announced they've signed Nigel Hayes to a 10-day contract. The forward averaged 14.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and shot 45.8% overall and 44% from 3 with the Westchester Knicks.

Stefano Fusaro ESPN 

Coach D'Antoni says that Harden's minute restriction will be bumped up from 25 to 30, for tomorrow night's game against the Warriors.

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said James Harden's minutes restriction will be bumped up to 30 Saturday night against the Warriors.