Lakers PG Schroder out vs. Nets due to protocols

LOS ANGELES — Dennis Schroder missed the Lakers‘ game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the team announced about an hour before tipoff.

Schroder had started all 29 of the Lakers’ games this season, averaging 14.2 points, 4.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds. Wesley Matthews started in his place against the Nets.

He is just the third Lakers player to miss time due to health and safety protocols this season, joining Alex Caruso and Alfonzo McKinnie. L.A. is one of a handful of teams to not have any games postponed because of COVID-19, with more than a third of the season already complete.

Schroder’s absence was the latest blow to what could be a potential Finals preview. The Lakers were without Anthony Davis, who is out with a right calf strain and Achilles tendinosis. The Nets were missing Kevin Durant for a third straight game because of a strained left hamstring.

The Schroder news clearly caught the Lakers off guard. During his pregame remarks, coach Frank Vogel pointed to Schroder being key to L.A.’s plans to try to stop Kyrie Irving.

“They’re prolific on the offensive side of the ball, so it’s going to be a good challenge for our defense. Looking forward to seeing the Dennis Schroder-Kyrie Irving matchup,” Vogel said. “I think that’s one that Dennis gives us a different dynamic this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing that matchup.”

The Lakers did not announce how much time Schroder could miss or divulge what triggered the health and safety protocols.

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