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Christian Wood, Jarred Vanderbilt will not return to Lakers for Game 3

The Los Angeles Lakers are playing for their playoff lives. Even though they will not face elimination in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, it sure feels like it.

They blew double-digit leads in both of the first two games of the series, including a 20-point second-half lead in Game 2. At this point, it seems the only way the Lakers could beat the Nuggets is if both Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray break their legs and are unable to play and the Lakers run up a 50-point lead.

There was hope that Christian Wood and Jarred Vanderbilt, two of their key frontcourt reserves, would be able to return from injury in Game 3. They have been out since February because of a knee ailment and midfoot sprain, respectively.

But the cavalry will not be coming, at least not yet. Both remain out for Game 3 at Crypto.com Arena on Thursday.

Los Angeles’ bench has produced next to nothing in the first two games. Only one of its reserves — forward Taurean Prince — has scored, and it is a big reason the team is averaging 101 points per game in the series after putting up 120.3 per game in the regular season after the All-Star break.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire