Lakers Coach Frank Vogel Doesn't Intend To Rest Starters During Back-To-Back

Melissa Rohlin

The Lakers have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with five seeding games remaining, including a back-to-back against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday and the Houston Rockets on Thursday. 

Even though they've already locked in their position, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he doesn't intend to rest his starters.

"The plan right now is to play those guys," Vogel said. "We still have a lot of areas to continue to improve before we feel like we’re ready to win games in the playoffs and to be at the level that we want to reach. So for us, we’re still in habit-building mode and continuing to just iron some things out. We’re not quite where we were, in my opinion, when the hiatus hit. So our mindset is to continue to play our guys and to get there."

The Lakers have won two of their three games in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World near Orlando, beating the Clippers on July 30, 103-103, and the Utah Jazz on Monday, 116-108. They lost to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, 107-92. 

Dwight Howard is out for Wednesday's game against the Thunder because of right knee soreness. 

"Hopefully he'll be in and play tomorrow," Vogel said. 

The Thunder (41-25) are tied with the Dallas Mavericks for sixth place in the Western Conference, 10 games behind the first-place Lakers.