The Los Angeles Lakers started 2021 the exact same way they ended last year. For the second consecutive game, the Lakers found themselves in a tough game against the San Antonio Spurs, and LeBron James and Anthony Davis were simply too much once again.
Davis finished with 34 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and two steals. James had a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as the Lakers beat the Spurs 109-103.
The Lakers’ offense was off for much of the night as they shot just 40.6% from the field as a team, though their improved 3-point percentage continued, hitting 42.4% from deep. The Lakers were able to make up for that with their work on the glass.
They grabbed 16 offensive rebounds on the night, seven coming from Davis, and out-rebounded the Spurs 58-45 overall. It resulted in the Lakers taking 16 more shots in the contest and they also did a better job taking care of the ball with just 13 turnovers on the night.
The Lakers additionally did a great job from the free throw line, making 13 of 16 attempts.
The Lakers did endure a scary moment in the third quarter as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope turned his left ankle while taking off for a layup. Caldwell-Pope went to the floor immediately grabbing at his ankle and had to be helped off the floor. He did not return to the game, but initial x-rays did come back negative and he was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain.
With Caldwell-Pope out it was on others to step up. Dennis Schroder didn’t have the most efficient game, but still finished with 15 points and made some key plays down the stretch on both ends of the floor. Kyle Kuzma also added 11 points off the bench while Marc Gasol made an impact despite going scoreless, coming away with eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
The game was a back-and-forth affair with the two sides trading the lead throughout the night. Neither side led by more than seven and the Spurs got a huge game from another one of their young talents, this time being Keldon Johnson who finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers will head to Memphis for a pair of games with the short-handed Grizzlies before returning home to end their season series with the Spurs.
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