The Los Angeles defeated the San Antonio Spurs 129-102 at home behind a balanced scoring attack and an impressive shooting night from LeBron James. The Spurs came into the game […]
The Los Angeles defeated the San Antonio Spurs 129-102 at home behind a balanced scoring attack and an impressive shooting night from LeBron James.
The Spurs came into the game off the heels of a 108-105 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Staples Center just a night earlier.
Both teams would open the game cold from the floor, as the teams combined to start the game 2-of-15 from the field after some ugly misses. The Lakers would grab a 21-19 lead by the end of the quarter, led by seven points from Anthony Davis.
San Antonio’s subpar shooting would continue early in the second quarter, where it took them nearly four minutes to hit their first field goal of the period.
By halftime, the Lakers opened up a 10-point lead, with a score of 51-41. LeBron James caught heat with nine points in the second quarter after just two in the first. On the flip side, Davis scored just two points in the second after his seven in the first. Despite shooting just 1-of-10 from three-point range, Los Angeles connected on 53.7% of their first half shots.
San Antonio had more luck from downtown (5-of-15 three-pointers,) a saving grace that allowed the Spurs to stay behind just 10 points despite shooting a poor 36.2% from the field. DeMar DeRozan continued to pace the Spurs with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists in the first half.
The Spurs would trail by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, but finally saw their offense come alive with 33 points. With James on the bench, San Antonio went on a short run, cutting the Lakers lead to nine points, but ultimately found themselves down 87-74 by the end of the quarter. DeRozan added 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in the third quarter alone, but clearly needed more help from his supporting cast.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Lakers found their three-point stroke. They had hit three in the third quarter, but less than four minutes into the fourth quarter, they added SEVEN more threes to extend their lead further. James nailed FIVE straight three-point attempts himself, shooting unconsciously from behind the line. This would nearly double his point total in a few short minutes. After his fifth made three-pointer of the quarter, and a subsequent Spurs timeout, the Lakers had opened up a 108-87 lead. James’ point total had risen from 17 to 32.
After the exciting moment, James would miss his next three-point attempt (the Staples Center would have absolutely erupted if he made it.) The damage was done, as the incredible shooting stretch would put the game out of realistic reach for the Spurs.
James would leave the game with less than five minutes left, after turning a pedestrian night (by his own standards) into a highlight reel in the blink of an eye. James finished with 36 points (19 in the 4th), 9 assists, and 7 rebounds. He shot 12-of-20 from the field and 6-of-8 from three-point range, highlighted by his 5-for-5 stretch in the fourth.
Davis would finish with 18 points (just 11 after the first quarter), 5 rebounds, and 4 assists on 8-of-12 shooting. Kyle Kuzma (18 points, 7-10 FG off the bench), Dwight Howard (12 points, 11 rebounds off the bench) and Javale McGee (14 points, 5 rebounds) supported the Lakers offense.
DeRozan finished with a near triple-double (28 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) but the Spurs couldn’t bounce back from their horrible first half from the field. San Antonio finished a respectable 44.9% from the field, and within their 13 three-pointers, things could have been even uglier.
The Lakers move to 38-11, 1st in the Western Conference, with a 17-6 record at home. The Spurs fall to 22-28, 10th in the West.
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