The Los Angeles Lakers outlasted the San Antonio Spurs 125-121 in an overtime thriller. With LeBron James out, Anthony Davis was aggressive looking for his own shot early, though he gave the Lakers a scare when he hit the floor hard after getting blocked. Davis shook off the fall and asserted himself in the painted area, giving Los Angeles an 11-8 lead.
The big man tandem of DeAndre Jordan and Davis made life miserable for the Spurs who struggled to score within the arc, though Lonnie Walker pulled the game within five after draining his first three of the contest. However, the San Antonio offense was able to get going after Los Angeles struggled with poor decision-making and turnovers, leaving the Lakers down 29-27 after one quarter.
Malik Monk was a spark to begin the second as he nailed an above-the-break 3-pointer, but the Spurs remained slightly ahead as they were generating good looks from outside. Los Angeles settled back in and retook the lead off a Kent Bazemore corner three, although they got bailed out a few times defensively as San Antonio could not convert certain possessions.
Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard kept the momentum going for L.A. as they took turns scoring near the basket, though Keldon Johnson kept San Antonio in the game. It was a back-and-forth finish to the period as the two teams traded baskets nearly every time down, but a Walker three in the final seconds left the Lakers trailing 62-61.
The beginning of the third quarter resembled the first half as the teams had no issues scoring. The Lakers were able to get nearly anything they wanted at the rim, but could not stop the Spurs on the other end.
Defensively, the Lakers finally started to earn some stops which helped them briefly take an 82-79 lead before Walker caught fire from downtown and put the Spurs up 85-79. From that point on, San Antonio literally began to run away with the game and L.A. found themselves in a 97-85 hole.
Westbrook tried to get L.A. back on track by knifing his way the rim, trimming the deficit to single digits. Fortunately, the team also began swarming the Spurs defensively which allowed them to eventually take the lead after a Davis jumper.
The Lakers clung to a one-point lead as the Spurs surprisingly struggled from the free-throw line. Monk nailed a deep 3-pointer that gave the Purple and Gold a two-point lead, but disaster nearly struck as Davis looked like he hurt his knee before ultimately walking it off. Dejounte Murray missed a potential game-winning mid-range jump shot and the game went into overtime.
Westbrook was able to break the tie after a nifty finish on a layup and later ignited the crowd with a thunderous dunk in the halfcourt. Davis came up huge in the final minutes with a putback and stop at the rim, and fortunately, the Lakers came away with an exhilarating win.
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