Lakers win the first of back-to-back games against Spurs

The Lakers are back to their winning ways and get their first road win of the season.

It wasn’t a cakewalk like it was on Sunday. But the Lakers did enough to defeat the Spurs, 105-94.

LeBron James was back for this contest and it wasn’t all great for him until later tonight. After making his first jumper, he was erratic for most of the rest of the night. Lonnie Walker IV, the former Spur, came out hot and scored 10 quick points in the first quarter. Just like Sunday, they jumped on San Antonio and were up by double digits after 12 minutes.

It was mostly Lakers throughout the first half. The lead boosted to 20 at one point and L.A. ended the half with a 59-41 lead over the overwhelmed Spurs. But what was not great was the Lakers giving the ball away more than the Spurs, 12-10, in that half.

It was more of the same at the start of the third quarter. Then once Anthony Davis went out, the Lakers didn’t have any cash to buy buckets. San Antonio took advantage and ended the Lakers’ nightmare third quarter with an 8-0 flourish. Keldon Johnson finally woke up from his slump, even if temporary, by scoring 10 of his 15 points in that period. San Antonio outscored the Lakers, 34-20, in the third because of course, they did.

The Spurs closed it to an 81-78 deficit before the Lakers took back the night. LeBron scored on back-to-back fastbreak buckets and the latter one was tasty.

LeBron and Anthony Davis closed the door on the Spurs afterwards. They scored 19 of the 26 fourth quarter points to offset that not-so-great third quarter. That gave, as mentioned, the Lakers their first road win of the season.

Davis’s numbers weren’t as monstrous but of course, anyone would take a 25-point, 15-rebound, three-block performance. Okay. That’s still pretty dope, really. He still has a streak going where he has scored 24 points and grabbed 14 boards in 6 straight games. LeBron James started out slow but he scored 9 of his 21 points in that decisive fourth quarter. But those 9 turnovers are disgusting. We can point to the rust but we all know he hasn’t made great decisions with the ball all season. Ex-Spur Lonnie Walker IV got off to a fast start and had 15 of his 18 points in the first half.

The Spurs were awful on the field all day. They only shot .380 from the field (38/100 shots; math is easy!) and went 6/33 (.182) from behind the arc. None of their three-pointers looked great; it’s either the shot is flat or too much arc. The Lakers weren’t much better at 8/27 (.296) but that lead kept them safe for the entire game. It’s their second wire-to-wire victory all season.

Tre Jones had 19 points to lead the Spurs while Devin Vassell had 18. Keldon Johnson went for 15 but his slump continues (6/23, .261 from the floor).

The only real worry for the Lakers is that they gave away the ball way too many times. 21 turnovers would normally lose the game. Spurs had 15 themselves. It’s pretty much an ugly victory by the Lakers and they had LeBron and Davis carry them and break the tape at the finish line.

At the very least, the Lakers have held the Spurs under 40 percent shooting in both games. The Lakers and the Spurs are going to go at it again on Saturday night. The Spurs might be due to shoot better but the Lakers need to make sure they’re not due against them.

Also, while LeBron needs to make better decisions with the ball and stop forcing passes, the Lakers also need to be decisive as a whole team. Davis (and LeBron, too) was getting double teams thrown at him. They had this problem earlier in the season where Davis would get the two-team and nobody would help him out with cuts and dives. They eventually settled into a pick-and-roll game with Davis and it worked out as he scored 19 of his 25 in the second half.

So the Lakers hope to improve on movement, decision-making, and taking care of the ball. The Spurs just hope to make baskets. Anyway, the Lakers took the W on the first one and hope to make it a two-game sweep.

Let’s run it back on Saturday night, guys.

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