LA Lakers vs. Clippers preview: LeBron James ruled out

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball in the first quarter against the LA Clippers at Arena on January 07, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Tuesday brings another highly anticipated battle between Los Angeles’ two NBA teams.

The game will feature a handful of future Hall of Famers such as Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and James Harden. However, the Los Angeles Lakers announced Monday night LeBron James has been ruled out with an ankle injury. 

Kawhi Leonard and company are without center Ivica Zubac who is scheduled to be reevaluated in the coming weeks. In Zubac's absence, Mason Plumlee and Daniel Theis have answered the call. 

The Lakers are up 2-0 against their hallway rivals this season, and for those paying attention, that doesn’t tell the entire picture. If there was any game to indicate the trajectories of these two teams, tonight is crucial in what is a Clippers home game. So far, the Clippers are 18-4 at home this season.


Ty Lue has masterfully coached the red-hot Clippers, who overcame an 18-point deficit against Brooklyn Sunday afternoon after dominating with a 22-0 run in the fourth quarter. As of Tuesday morning, the Clippers were ranked fourth in the Western Conference, just two games behind Minnesota. 

Meanwhile, the Lakers are ranked ninth and once again, they find themselves in play-in tournament territory.

Sources have reported the front office will remain "patient" with head coach Darvin Ham and a trade for the purple and yellow seems inevitable ahead of the February trade deadline.

Tuesday night's "Battle of LA" matchup is set for the national stage and will air on TNT at 7 p.m. PT from the Arena in downtown LA.