The Los Angeles Lakers were absolutely crushed by the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. The young squad led by D’Angelo Russell had no answer for Kawhi Leonard and company in San Antonio and as a result were beaten by arguably one of the best teams in the league by 40 points.
Following the blowout loss to the Spurs, Russell showed some maturity in defeat by shouldering the blame for being manhandled in San Antonio, via Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
D'Angelo Russell providing some self criticism after Lakers' loss pic.twitter.com/wNq5WRU1e0
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 13, 2017
As usual, the Spurs were consistent and relentless. Gregg Popovich’s squad never let up and took full advantage of the Lakers’ defensive issues.
The 134 points given up to San Antonio is tied for the second-highest point total of an opponent of the Lakers this season. Los Angeles failed to contain James Harden’s Houston Rockets on Dec. 7 who also dropped 134 points on them, but falls short of the 149 points scored by the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 23.
As for Russell, the second-year point guard finished with nine points, three assists, and one rebound while shooting 4-for-13 from the floor. Russell has played well as of late, but this performance was forgettable, to say the least.
Although the Spurs, Rockets, and Warriors are among the elite class of teams in the NBA right now, the Lakers have shown at times they can contend with teams that play at this level. Russell and company have beaten the Warriors and the Rockets once already this season and have put on gotten the best of other playoff bound teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, and Los Angeles Clippers.
With the Lakers suffering their 28th loss of the season, the team will head back home to face the Clippers as the away team at the Staples Center in an early game on Saturday. It will be a back-to-back situation for Lakers as they will host the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.