The Los Angeles Lakers, though shorthanded due to injuries, defeated the playoff-hopeful San Antonio Spurs in overtime on Wednesday evening to complete a three-game sweep of their longtime rival for the first time since the 1997-98 season.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton called the impressive feat “nice”, but stopped short of further praise, echoing the team’s bigger-picture goal of returning to championship form.
The game, which had significant playoff implications for the Spurs, was nationally televised on ESPN. But the network made a critical mistake during crunch time, when the score all evened up at 108 apiece.
With four seconds left in the fourth quarter, ESPN accidentally cut to a commercial during the Lakers’ final possession, preventing a nationwide audience from seeing how Josh Hart’s drive to the basket finished, Deadspin:
OH COME ON pic.twitter.com/2AkQ9Nw7dU
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) April 5, 2018
Though ESPN quickly corrected their mistake and returned to the court, it was all for naught as the telecast missed Hart’s potential game-winning shot as the clock expired. Luckily for the network, the game extended to overtime and didn’t experience any mishaps from there.
For the Lakers, they ultimately willed their way to a victory behind Kyle Kuzma’s game-high 30 points. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope contributed 21 of his own on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor.
The Spurs, meanwhile, fell to 45-34 and find themselves just 1.5 games ahead of the No. 9 seed Denver Nuggets, who are on the outside looking in with just three games to play.