Nuggets Lakers Game 3 injury report: Lakers' role players not set to return after all

Feb 14, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA;  Los Angeles Lakers bench laughs
Feb 14, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Los Angeles Lakers bench laughs / Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

To say the Denver Nuggets have all the momentum in their first-round playoff series with the Los Angeles Lakers would be an understatement. Denver leads the series 2-0 and just erased a 20-point deficit to beat LA at the buzzer; their 10th straight win over the Lakers overall and sixth straight playoff win head to head over the past two seasons.

The Lakers have to be doing some soul-searching and grasping at straws, looking for any possible edge they can gain to shift things in their favor. Well, it seemed like at least one positive for LA was that they were expecting to get two role players back from injury for game 3

Christian Wood and Jarred Vanderbilt have both been out since February, but separate reports came out indicating each player was set to return. Wood offers a scoring presence down low who can pop outside and hit threes. Vando is a strong defender and energy player who can occasionally hit open shots as well.

Neither player is a star, but both can be useful for stretches off the bench. They would’ve provided Darvin Ham with some flexibility and depth that is desperately needed. But now, Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that both players will be ‘OUT’ for game 3. The Lakers will need to find a spark from elsewhere.

Lakers injury report

The Lakers will have the same injury report as they had in game 2; Anthony Davis (back) and LeBron James (ankle) are both listed as ‘Probable’. Let me spare you the drama; they are both going to play. Along with Vanderbilt (foot) and Wood (knee), the Lakers are also listing Cam Reddish (ankle) and Jalen Hood-Schifino (lumbar disc) as ‘Out’ for Thursday night’s game 3.

Nuggets injury report

The Nuggets report remains the same and is a thing of beauty as it’s just Vlatko Cancar (knee) who remains ‘Out’. Every rotation player is healthy and ready to roll for Denver.

Betting odds

The Nuggets are favored by 1.5 points on the road and the game has a total of 214.5 points.