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Lakers News: Kyle Kuzma Returning from Back Injury vs. Mavs After Missing 2 Games

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma in action during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. The Lakers won 128-123. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma will return to the team's lineup for Monday's game against the Dallas Mavericks, the team announced

Lakers head coach Luke Walton spoke about Kuzma in an interview with Spectrum SportsNet:

Spectrum SportsNet @SpectrumSN

Luke Walton speaks with @LakersReporter about @kylekuzma returning to the #LakeShow and the importance of starting strong tonight in Dallas. https://t.co/rmOkKEsA00

Kuzma had missed the team's last two games with a lower back contusion. His return is well-timed for Los Angeles, which has dropped five of its last six games to slip to eighth in the Western Conference (21-19).

Kuzma averaging 18.3 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. According to NBA.com, his team is 3.7 points better per 100 possessions when he's on the floor.

Of course, things are unlikely to dramatically improve for the Lakers until LeBron James gets back on the court. James hasn't played since suffering a groin strain in the team's Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors, and he's going to miss at least another week.

Rajon Rondo is out, too, after undergoing surgery on his finger in December.

Kobe Bryant @kobebryant

Relax. Entire squad is damn near out. Were playing pretty well before that #gethealthy #lakerfam https://t.co/ZvYYIxmY4R

Kuzma will at least provide depth to the frontcourt, especially important Monday as Los Angeles is coming off the second half of a back-to-back.

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