The Los Angeles Lakers managed to score at timely moments in order to bounce back and beat the San Antonio Spurs, 114-106, in an afternoon matinee at Staples Center on Sunday.
Talen Horton-Tucker drew the start in his 2020-21 season debut, but it was Anthony Davis who set the tone by scoring the team’s first six points. Horton-Tucker hit a sweet step-back three, and later found Davis on for a lob to give the Lakers a slight 15-13 lead.
Davis continued his hot start as he finally ended his cold spell from beyond the arc and finished a tough feed from Avery Bradley. After the Spurs took their first lead of the afternoon, the Lakers responded with back-to-back threes from Davis and Wayne Ellington to close the quarter and took a 34-29 advantage into the second.
Los Angeles extended their run from the end of the first, rattling off a 17-0 spurt to push their lead to 13. San Antonio battled back to narrow the deficit to six before Davis returned to the game and picked up where he left off finishing at the rim.
The Laker offense ran through Davis who had no issues tormenting the undersized Spurs front line, while Ellington managed to knock down his open looks from distance. However, the Spurs ripped off a 11-2 run to close the half, leaving the Lakers only ahead 58-53.
Davis had his most dominant half of the season by far, recording 25 points and seven rebounds on 12-of-16 shooting.
Russell Westbrook kicked things off in the third with a pair of threes, though he did get stuffed by the rim on a dunk attempt. Drew Eubanks and Horton-Tucker got into it a bit, but the scuffle seemed to energize the Lakers who retook a double-digit lead.
Dejounte Murray did his best to keep San Antonio hanging around, but L.A. responded with another pair of threes from Malik Monk and Ellington. Dwight Howard was a strong defensive presence, and the Lakers would take a 90-79 lead heading into the fourth.
Monk was able to use his handle to snake into the lane and finish with a couple of nifty floaters, while Horton-Tucker followed with his own tough finish. Despite the Laker offense clicking, the Spurs were able to hang around thanks to their outside shooting.
L.A.’s offense stalled out at the wrong which allowed San Antonio to make it a one-possession game down the final stretch. However, Carmelo Anthony and Horton-Tucker came up in the clutch with huge baskets to help the Lakers escape with the victory.
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