Another game, another loss for the Los Angeles Lakers, as they are now 0-3 to start the 2018/19 campaign. The Lakers fell to the San Antonio Spurs 143-142 last night, in overtime for the third straight loss, and second straight at home. The Lakers really missed Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo in this game. They had their chances to win (plenty of them), but those two players were missed for damn sure. The Lakers have plenty of skilled players, but one thing they are lacking is a big man. Javale McGee has been fantastic this season, but when he is not in the game, and now that Ingram is out for a few more games, the lack of size is alarming. Let’s get right into it:
The Spurs jumped on the Lakers early, getting a double-digit lead at the halfway mark of the first quarter. The Lakers trailed by as many as 17 before finally scoring six straight, stopping the Spurs streak. The Spurs hot shooting (and Lakers poor defense) continued, and the first quarter ended 40-26, Spurs. Michael Beasley finally came off the bench and played a little, so it was nice to see him in action. Kyle Kuzma, who started in place of Ingram, came out firing bullets, scoring 14 of the Lakers 26 in the first quarter. In the second, Kuzma continued to sizzle, and finished with scoring 5 more points to finish with 19 at the half. The rest of the Lakers followed suite, playing much better, and closing the gap to 65-60 at the half. Javale McGee had 12 points in the first half, while LeBron only had 4. For the Spurs, DeRozan had 16 points, and 6 assists (very rare).
In the second half, it was a very similar story in the previous two games. The Lakers make little four-five point scoring runs, but the opposing teams (this time, it was the Spurs) answer and the deficit stays at 6. The Lakers would get close, but give up a big three or a couple threes every time. At the end of the third, the Spurs still led 99-96, thanks to a three by Bertans with seven seconds left. LeBron was much more active in the third, scoring 9 points. In the final quarter, the game was back and forth until the 4 minute mark, when the Spurs took a 120-114 lead. The Lakers then crawled back to three, but then the Spurs took a 128-120 lead with 1:10 remaining. The Lakers then get a dunk from McGee, a Kuzma three, and then a CLUTCH LeBron three with 3.3 seconds remaining to tie the game at 128. DeRozan missed a three to go into OT. The Lakers jump out to a 139-133 lead in overtime with 2:17 left, mainly thanks to Jonathan Williams, the rookie from Gonzaga. With 15 seconds left, Rudy Gay hit a huge three to put the Spurs down one, 142-141. The Spurs foul LeBron with 12.3 seconds left, and he misses BOTH free throws. The Spurs then come down, and Patty Mills hit a jumper with 7 seconds left, giving the Spurs a one-point lead. LeBron has one more shot to win it, but missed a 20-footer, bouncing off the right-side of the rim. LeBron finished with great numbers: 32 points, 8 rebounds and 14 assists. He struggled from the field, shooting 11/25 from the field, 2/8 from three, and 8/11 from the line…no misses bigger than the final three from LeBron.
This was a very disappointing loss for the Lakers, blowing plenty of chances to win the game. However, there were plenty of good moments, mainly fighting back from down 8 with one minute left. Luke Walton ripped the refs in the postgame presser, and I believe he should have. Lakers rookie Svi Mykhailiuk made his first appearance, playing 16 minutes, and missing both shots he attempted. Svi did have three assists and two rebounds. The Lakers (0-3) will get a chance to get their first win on Wednesday, 10/23, against the Suns (1-2) in Phoenix.
- Kyle Kuzma was on fire, dropping 37 points, shooting 15/25 from the field, hitting 4/10 three’s and snagging 8 boards in 45 minutes of action
- Josh Hart continues to impress of the bench, scoring 20 points while shooting 8/14 from the field, hitting 4/7 threes and grabbing 10 rebounds.
- Jonathan Williams scored 8 points, making 4/5 shots in 13 minutes of action. He played nicely against the Spurs bigs, getting minutes in the 4th and OT.
- KCP has been here for three straight games. He only played 19 minutes, shot 1/4 from the field and missed both threes he attempted.
- Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram were suspended from the game. Rondo has two games left, while Ingram has three.
- The Lakers defense allowed the Spurs to shoot 51.5% on 97 shots.
- The Lakers only shot 26 free throws (69.2%), while the Spurs shot 38 (73.7%).
- DeMar DeRozan finished with 14 assists, which is a career high.
- All Photos are from NBA.com
- Box Score
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