The Los Angeles Lakers are on their longest winning streak of the season, winning their eighth straight against the San Antonio Spurs in a matchup that was close for three quarters before the purple and gold pulled away to get the 114 to 104 win.
The Lakers trailed by two going into halftime but their defense cranked up a notch in the second half while the Spurs hot shooting from midrange and the perimeter cooled down. The third quarter saw a barrage of great plays from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who has excelled as a starter in Avery Bradley’s absence, to get the Lakers the lead in the final period.
The fourth quarter, however, was all about the King. LeBron James took over once again after a strong first half scoring the ball (19 points). James finished the game with 33 points and 14 assists, 13 of which came in the second half. In the fourth quarter alone, James scored 12 points and five assists, hitting three of his four 3-pointers on the night.
Caldwell-Pope finished with 14 points on 5-7 shooting.
Lakers’ star Anthony Davis struggled offensively against LaMarcus Aldridge and had the other make several tough shots against him on the other end. Nevertheless, despite a tough night, the big man still managed to put up 19 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks and combining with James on a two-man game that took advantage of DeMar DeRozan’s defense time after time in the final period.
The Lakers also saw major contributions from JaVale McGee (eight points, six rebounds, one block) who picked up the slack for a struggling Dwight Howard as well as Kyle Kuzma who showed aggressive but controlled play offensively (in his first game without the protective goggles he wore to protect his injured eye) and played solid defense on the Spurs’ former All-Star guard for much of the game.
Troy Daniels hit 3-of-3 shots from behind the arc in spot minutes and Rajon Rondo added 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.
The Lakers had few miscues offensively, hitting 49.4 percent from the field and 14-of-33 3-pointers. They only registered nine turnovers but missed six of their 18 free throw attempts.
The Lakers will hope to continue their winning ways in what should be an emotional matchup in New Orleans against the Pelicans as Anthony Davis makes his first trip back to his former franchise.