Seeking third straight win, Lakers host ice-cold Spurs
The Los Angeles Lakers will be in search of their season-best third win in a row when they host the struggling and road-weary San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
Sunday’s game is just the third in an eight-day stretch for Los Angeles, while the Spurs will be on the second game of a back-to-back that began with a loss to the Clippers on Saturday. They will be playing their fifth game, all on the road, in a span of seven days.
The Lakers have won two straight outings, tying their best streak of the season, with the latest a 128-121 victory over short-handed Detroit on Friday.
Anthony Davis racked up 38 points (16 of them in the fourth quarter), 16 rebounds and four blocked shots and Lonnie Walker IV added 17 points.
Austin Reaves scored 16 points, Wenyen Gabriel tallied 15 and Russell Westbrook had 10 points and 12 assists off the bench as the Lakers shot 55.1 percent from the floor and went 35 of 40 from the free-throw line. Los Angeles was up by just two points with 7:39 to play in a back-and-forth game before securing the victory with a 14-6 run over the ensuing 3 1/2 minutes.
It was just the fourth victory of the season for Los Angeles, which had endured a pair of five-game losing streaks.
“I’d be glad if I had zero points and we won,” said Davis, who’s posted consecutive games with at least 37 points. “We got to get wins. The rest will start to take care of itself. So, we can’t get comfortable.
“We’ve been in this situation before: lose five, win two, lose five, win two. So, we got to put a string of wins together to get back in this thing, but we got to take it one game at a time.”
The Lakers played on Friday without LeBron James, who sat out his third consecutive game with an adductor strain. James’ participation in Sunday’s contest will be a game-time decision.
The Spurs will close out their disastrous road trip looking for their first victory since Nov. 11 after a 119-97 loss to the Clippers on Saturday. Jakob Poeltl led San Antonio with 20 points while Doug McDermott scored 13, Keldon Johnson had 11 and Tre Jones amassed 10 assists in the loss.
San Antonio played without Devin Vassell, who missed the game while nursing an ankle injury.
The Spurs have lost nine of their past 10 outings and have fallen to a season-worst five games under .500. San Antonio never led in Saturday’s contest, which followed setbacks on the road in San Francisco against the Warriors, in Portland and in Sacramento. Those four defeats have been by an average of 21 points per game.
Even though he had just four points in San Antonio’s loss Saturday and has never had more than 14 in his 16 games with the Spurs, 19-year-old Jeremy Sochan is considered one of the future cornerstones of the franchise. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is giving Sochan a lot of trust and some tough assignments, and the rookie is not shy of taking on the task.
“Jeremy doesn’t have any fear,” Popovich said. “He is not impressed with the NBA or anything like that, he just comes to play. He just loves the game. You can just see it in his face — you can see his body language.”
–Field Level Media