On their first road trip of the 2002-21 season, the Los Angeles Lakers earned a hard-fought 121-107 win over the San Antonio Spurs. LeBron James added to his NBA record and Wesley Matthews turned in his best performance with the Lakers.
The Lakers started out lackadaisical on the defensive end as they allowed the Spurs to score too easily in the painted area, but immediately responded with an 11-0 run to pull ahead. San Antonio responded with an 8-2 spurt of their own, coming up with an assist on each of their baskets.
Dennis Schroder heated up from the field, knocking down a wide-open 3-pointer and followed it up with a couple of finishes near the basket. Wesley Matthews and Kyle Kuzma knocked down a few triples between them and Los Angeles went into the second quarter up 35-27.
James took control of the offense at the top of the second, getting to the rim on several occasions and hitting a midrange jumper. A DeMar DeRozan poster dunk over Montrezl Harrell energized the Spurs, and they continued to score in the restricted area to narrow the lead.
San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected from the game for arguing a non-call, and Los Angeles capitalized by extending their lead to double digits. The Lakers earned back-to-back and-1 opportunities at the end and they went into halftime up 63-53.
James became the first player in NBA history to at least 10 points in 1,000 consecutive games. James Harden is in second place among active players with 411 consecutive games of double-digit scoring.
It was sloppy for L.A. to begin the third as they committed three unforced turnovers, but a pair of triples from James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope kept them up 14. The Spurs had a couple of instances where they looked like they would cut into the deficit, but the Lakers managed to answer each time.
Matthews stayed hot from beyond the arc, drilling a pair of threes to keep momentum on Los Angeles’ side. However, San Antonio closed the period on an 8-0 run and the Lakers walked into the fourth only up 92-82.
Matthews’ strong night continued as he hit another couple of threes to remain perfect from distance. Montrezl Harrell finally got involved offensively by working in the restricted area for dunks and free throws but the Spurs never went away.
DeRozan allowed San Antonio to keep hanging around, but Anthony Davis prevented them from getting too close.
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