Lak­ers pre­par­ing to play with­out Rondo

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports -

LOS AN­GE­LES (AP) — Ra­jon Rondo had surgery Thurs­day on his bro­ken right hand, and the Los An­ge­les Lak­ers plan to use a va­ri­ety of strate­gies to re­place the vet­eran point guard while he heals.

Los An­ge­les will be with­out Rondo for four to five weeks after he was in­jured in the fourth quar­ter of the Lak­ers’ fourth straight win, 126-117 over Port­land on Wed­nes­day night. Rondo ap­par­ently hurt his hand while mak­ing a steal, but he kept play­ing for sev­eral more min­utes be­fore com­ing out of the game.

Coach Luke Wal­ton praised Rondo’s lead­er­ship and two-way con­tri­bu­tions after the Lak­ers’ fi­nal prac­tice be­fore head­ing out on a three-game road trip. Although he has played only 11 games for LA, Rondo is al­ready a key com­po­nent of the re­vamped club.

“Ob­vi­ously we can’t re­place what Rondo does for our team and how im­por­tant he is to our team, but we’re not go­ing to make ex­cuses,” Wal­ton said. “That’s not who we are as a group. We’re go­ing to step up, and guys are go­ing to pick up the slack and add to their re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

Rondo is av­er­ag­ing 8.5 points, 6.5 as­sists, 4.5 re­bounds and 1.2 steals in his first sea­son with the Lak­ers. He has been the leader of Los An­ge­les’ sec­ond unit while also serv­ing as a valu­able coach on the floor with his younger, less-fa­mil­iar team­mates, ac­cord­ing to Wal­ton.

The in­jury comes at an in­op­por­tune time for the Lak­ers (8-6), who are off to their best 14-game start since 2011-12.

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