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Josh Hart exits Lakers game early with knee tendinitis

Despite not practicing Saturday, Lakers guard Josh Hart played in Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns.

But in the second half, he knew he couldn’t keep going.

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“He’s got some bad tendinitis right now,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “He’ll get treatment tomorrow. We’ll see how it’s feeling. Most likely I would assume he does not practice tomorrow.”

Hart said he has been dealing with knee tendinitis since college, but it typically subsides after a few weeks. This particular flare-up has bothered him for the last two or three weeks, he said.

“I think it was just everything this summer,” Hart said. “Didn’t really take too much time off this summer — did summer league and I took like a week off and I was right back in the gym — so I didn’t really let my body rest too much during the summer when you’re supposed to let your body rest.

“So I think all that is kind of coming in to bite me ... right now.”

Hart was the Lakers’ most prominent player in their two summer league stints last summer.

Although the team planned to play him only sparingly, Hart wanted to play the whole tournament and helped lead the Lakers to what would have been a second consecutive summer league championship.

The Lakers fell just short, losing in the championship game.

Lately, the Lakers’ injury situation has become dire. They were without LeBron James (groin), Kyle Kuzma (hip), Tyson Chandler (rest) and Lonzo Ball (ankle) in Sunday’s game.

“That always puts a little bit of pressure on you to battle through the adversity,” Hart said.

“The nicks and bruises, injuries. Maybe. But we’re professionals. We go, act accordingly.”

Zu’s ovation

Ivica Zubac has been impressing his teammates lately, and on Sunday he showed Staples Center why. Zubac finished with 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.

“I was boxing out my guy,” Zubac said. “My teammates were boxing out their guy. Their guards couldn’t fly in and disrupt the boards. I just had to go and get it.”

He fouled out of the game with 1:37 left and received a standing ovation from the crowd.

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“Always feels good, especially in Staples Center with 20,000 people,” Zubac said.

“Feels amazing. Since I was little that was like one of my dreams, so always amazing feeling.”

Celebrating Buss

The Lakers celebrated late owner Jerry Buss’ birthday on Sunday as they do each year.

His daughter and Lakers governor Jeanie Buss celebrated in a unique way.

At a recent auction of Hugh Hefner’s estate, Jeanie Buss purchased a gold pajama set that belonged to the late founder of Playboy Magazine, she said on Twitter and Instagram. She wore the top of that set as a shirt to Sunday’s game.

Hefner died in September of 2017, five years after Buss died. The two had been friends, with Buss attending parties at the Playboy Mansion and Hefner attending games as Buss’ guest.

Jeanie Buss appeared in Playboy Magazine in 1995— and her father once reportedly said it was the only issue of the magazine he never looked at.

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