LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers kept their first road trip of the 2019-20 NBA season going strong by collecting another win, this one against the San Antonio Spurs.
The Lakers appeared to be off to yet another slow start (something they’ve made a bit of a habit out of) but turned it around quickly with the Spurs run ending at 5-0 to start.
After going up 7-5, the Spurs didn’t have a lead again until the beginning of the second quarter.
The Lakers broke their usual formula of being a slow first-half team and a dominant second-half team by playing solid basketball throughout and reacting well when the Spurs made their runs, especially when they tied it at 90 in the fourth quarter after trailing by 19 points in the third quarter.
Although not quite as dominant as he was in the win against the Dallas Mavericks, James dropped his second straight triple-double in 37 minutes of action.
According to Lakers PR, James is the first Laker to record back-to-back triple-doubles since Lamar Odom in 2006. He finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists.
The other major story of the game was the continued resurgence of Dwight Howard. Howard was brought in strictly as a low-risk replacement for DeMarcus Cousins and has turned into the perfect big man off the bench.
Against the Spurs, Howard absolutely dominated the paint by recording 14 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting from the field, 13 rebounds, and two blocks — including one on Dejounte Murray that effectively iced the game.
Anthony Davis also came out with another strong outing. Although Davis turned the basketball over six times, he still had 25 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks.
The Lakers won this game despite playing some of their sloppiest basketball of the new season. They came into the game averaging 14.4 turnovers a game but against the Spurs fundamental defense, they wound up coughing it up 18 times, including eight in the first quarter.
Avery Bradley was having a phenomenal game before a lower leg injury that didn’t appear serious knocked him out for the final seven minutes of the game. In 27 minutes, Bradley had 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and was responsible for a number of Spurs turnovers and forced shots.
This win gives the Lakers a 5-1 record with this being their fifth consecutive win and making them 2-0 on their road trip.
They’ll look to finish their road trip a perfect 3-0 when they take on the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 5.