Lakers’ LeBron James makes triumphant return vs. Spurs

Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis racked up 25 points and 15 rebounds, LeBron James added 21 points in his return after missing five games and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers sprinted away from the plummeting San Antonio Spurs 105-94 on Friday.

The contest was the first of two in two nights between the teams in San Antonio.

James was a force after being out with an adductor strain since Nov. 9. And Davis continued a run of double-doubles — six in a row — by scoring 11 of his points in the fourth quarter.

San Antonio dropped its seventh straight game and fell for the 12th time in 13 contests so far in November.

Los Angeles led by 18 points at halftime but by just 79-75 after a spirited Spurs comeback in the third quarter. But Davis and James combined for nine consecutive points early in the fourth to push the Lakers’ advantage to 14 points, and San Antonio never seriously challenged again.

Lonnie Walker IV added 18 points and Troy Brown Jr. had 10 for Los Angeles, which has won four of its past five games. The Lakers were without Patrick Beverley, who was sitting out the first game of a three-game suspension for shoving the Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton.

Tre Jones led the Spurs with 19 points, with Devin Vassell scoring 18, Keldon Johnson adding 15, Jeremy Sochan hitting for 13 and Jakob Poeltl tallying 10. San Antonio was missing key bench players Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson, both due to ankle injuries.

The Lakers jumped on San Antonio from the opening tip, with James scoring the game’s first bucket and Los Angeles going up 23-13 after Walker’s jumper at the 5:11 mark of the opening quarter. The visitors settled for a 33-21 advantage after 12 minutes of play.

The Spurs never got closer than eight points in the second quarter. Walker’s 3-pointer at the 3:01 mark began an 11-4 run to end the period as Los Angeles carried a 59-41 lead into the break.

Walker led all scorers with 15 points before halftime, and all nine players who saw the court for the Lakers in the half scored. Vassell paced San Antonio with nine points over the first two quarters. The Spurs were just 2 of 15 from beyond the arc in the half, and they finished 6 of 33 from long distance.

–Field Level Media

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