Lakers' Larry Nance Jr. says his injured knee is improving

Whether his current predicament affects any potential invitation to the NBA dunk contest in February is the least of Larry Nance Jr.’s concerns. 

The only concern for the Lakers’ high-flying forward is healing from a bone bruise in his left knee that has sidelined him since Dec. 20.

Most of his rehab has entailed strength work and low-impact activities. A few days ago he was able to start shooting again. 

“There’s certain instances I feel it, but nothing specific,” Nance said. “I’m feeling better every day. I have no issues. I’m content as can be with the way things have been going.”

Nance suffered the injury in the Lakers’ loss to the Charlotte Hornets. He chased after a loose ball and bumped his knee with a Hornets player. 

Although the Lakers initially believed the injury was more serious, a doctor’s examination showed that Nance did not have any structural damage. 

The Lakers originally said his timetable would be four weeks and Nance sees no reason to believe he is behind schedule on anything.

But Nance said that he has “never put a timetable on it, and I’m not going to now.” 

The next steps in his rehab will involve contact work in one-on-one, two-on-two and three-on-three situations.

Mozgov is more assertive 

After Lakers center Timofey Mozgov said he planned to be more physical, Coach Luke Walton has seen a difference. 

“Since he came out and said he’s gonna be more physical he’s been great for us,” Walton said. “He’s done a really good job of stepping up on his own. As a vet we give more leeway to find his way. … We had to get weird lineups out there. His minutes weren’t as consistent.

“I think his number struggled because of that. Recently, he’s kind of found his groove again. He’s bringing a lot to the table.”

In the Lakers’ 111-95 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday, Mozgov had 15 points, nine rebounds, two assists and a steal. Mozgov made all of his seven shots. 

Etc.

The Lakers have won three consecutive games at home and are 3-2 in 2017. … The Lakers scored 40 points in the first quarter against the Magic, and it was their fourth time scoring at least 40 points in a quarter. They also did it in the first quarter against Charlotte on Dec. 20, in the second quarter of their Nov. 4 win over the Golden State Warriors and in the fourth quarter of their Nov.12 win over the New Orleans Pelicans

tania.ganguli@latimes.com

@taniaganguli

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