With LeBron James a late scratch due to soreness in his knee, the Los Angeles Lakers began their quick road trip with a 117-110 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Austin Reaves scored the Lakers’ first field goal with a pull-up jumper in isolation, and Malik Monk followed it up with a layup in transition. Russell Westbrook had a hard time getting anything to go down, but Dejounte Murray did not have the same issue as he got into the paint almost at will to put the Spurs up 13-9.
Monk was able to push the ball down court and find Carmelo Anthony open for three, but San Antonio answered on the other end to stay ahead. Los Angeles gave up a 9-0 run at the end of the quarter and found themselves down 31-22.
Westbrook picked up his third foul at the top of the second, forcing him to sit and watch the Spurs expand their lead to double digits. Monk came up with a steal and dunk, but Murray responded with an and-one to keep the Lakers at bay.
Despite his foul trouble, Westbrook returned to the game and was able to find success attacking the basket. Reaves was able to hit a reverse layup in the final minute and the Lakers only found themselves trailing 62-56 at halftime.
The Lakers got off to a strong start in the third as Reaves and Monk picked up where they left off in the first half scoring. Westbrook was able to briefly give L.A. the lead, but San Antonio immediately took it back after a putback dunk from Jock Londale.
Outside of an Anthony midrange jumper, the Laker offense stalled out a bit while the Spurs found their scoring groove again to put some distance between the two teams. Anthony remained hot from the field, scoring over his defenders and getting to the line to only make it a 95-92 contest.
It was surprisingly Anthony’s defense that got the Lakers going in the fourth, blocking Murray and poking the ball away from Doug McDermott to help tie things at 97-97. However, with the Lakers going small they had trouble containing Jakob Poeltl and a Josh Richardson 3-pointer suddenly put them down by 10 again.
Talen Horton-Tucker came alive at the right time with a block and three in one sequence, but the Spurs rallied back to keep the Lakers from getting too close. Down only four, Monk looked like he was fouled on a drive but no call came and the Lakers would have to suffer another rough loss.
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