The Los Angeles Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs 125-121 on the road, feeding off the support of the loud L.A. fans at AT&T Arena.
The Lakers overcame a late 12-point deficit to first secure extra five minutes of the game thanks to a long 3-point shot from Malik Monk. Then, they dominated San Antonio, scoring 10 points — all in the paint — in overtime while allowing the Spurs to answer with just six themselves.
Throughout the night, Lakers fans vociferously cheered on the players wearing purple and gold jerseys. The tremendous support in a rival’s arena came as a surprise to a couple of new members of the franchise.
Malik Monk said the atmosphere made it feel “like a home game” for L.A.
“I’ve never seen nothing like it before besides when they was playing us when I was in Charlotte,” he added.
“But yeah, it’s crazy, it’s a crazy feeling. They made us more comfortable and made everybody relax. It was like we were at home, so we definitely felt that.”
Similarly, the cheers stunned Russell Westbrook, who has seen both the good and the bad of fan support in the NBA.
“Well, I’ll tell you it’s different for me. I’m not used to people cheering for me on the road (laughs),” he said.
“That’s a different experience for me, which is good. Lakers fans all across the world, which is an amazing feeling. Tonight we represented.”
The atmosphere seemed to have provided the Lakers with a confidence boost at the free-throw line. They registered their highest shot accuracy from the charity stripe (77.3%) on Tuesday, shooting 17-for-22. Meanwhile, the Spurs missed a number of big free throws down the stretch to the delight of the Laker fans in the building.
Westbrook look forward to Oklahoma City comeback but eyes a win
Westbrook and the Lakers are now headed north from Texas to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in a reunion game for the 32-year-old guard on Wednesday night. He spent nine years with the Thunder franchise, winning the 2017 NBA MVP award along the way.
Westbrook said he still holds fond memories of his time in Oklahoma City.
“I feel great. It’s like home for me because I was there for so many years,” he said. “All the people there have been so great to me. Since Day 1, like family so it’s just like going home.
“But I also want to win,” he concluded, laughing.
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