The Los Angeles Lakers earned their second consecutive victory over the San Antonio Spurs in a hard-fought game. Unlike the first meeting, it was a back-and-forth affair as the Spurs looked much more prepared on both ends of the floor.
However, LeBron James and Anthony Davis proved to be too much. James recorded his first triple-double of the 2020-21 season (26 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists), while Davis led the team in scoring with 34 points to go along with 11 rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Aside from the stars, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope appeared to be on his way for a solid night before turning his left ankle in the third quarter. Caldwell-Pope was able to walk off the floor, but was ruled for the rest of the game with a mild ankle sprain.
“Ankle is fine. X-ray was negative, just a little sprain, and hopefully I can go in a couple days,” he said after the game. “We’re going to treat it until we get to Memphis and see how it goes from there. … This is the first time for this ankle, that I can remember. It’s a mild sprain. A little ice, a little treatment, and a day or two off that I always say that I need, and I should be fine.”
Caldwell-Pope was a major spark for the Lakers in the third as he scored eight straight points before the injury. “I just felt a little more energy than I had in the first half. I knew my energy wasn’t there the first half. Second half I tried to change that and I came out with great energy,” he said.
“To go down like that, I was kind of upset because I was starting to warm up, get loose and get into the flow of the game. Then that happened. Fortunately it’s negative, but I was a little upset I didn’t get a chance to finish the game.”
It was unfortunate to see the 27-year-old exit due to injury, but it is reassuring to hear that he feels like he has a shot to suit up against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. The Lakers will already be down Alex Caruso as he has yet to be cleared to return due to the league’s health and safety protocols, so having Caldwell-Pope available would be big for the team.
In a year where it may come down to who is the healthiest team, Los Angeles has already had a few injuries. James has played through a sore ankle, while Davis was forced to miss a game due to a calf contusion.
Fortunately, the Lakers are in the midst of a soft spot in their schedule and should hopefully be able to rack up some wins to give themselves cushion in the standings.
Caldwell-Pope off to strong start to 2020-21 season
Fresh off an impressive postseason performance, Caldwell-Pope returned to the Lakers on a three-year, $40 million deal. So far, he has made good on that contract as he is nailing nearly two 3-pointers a game on 53% shooting.
He has looked more comfortable and decisive shooting the basketball, and has already showed off improved reads off the bounce. Caldwell-Pope has been a massive boost to the offense and will be a key piece going forward.
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