The San Antonio Spurs succeeded to return to the winning column after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 134-94, on Thursday night at AT&T Center.
Both teams entered the game eyeing to avenge their previous losses. The Spurs proved to be the better team and buried the Lakers with a 40-point lead. Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 31 points while Pau Gasol posted 22 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.
The Spurs started the game strong and took a 36-24 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Lakers tried to bounce back but were unable to stop the Spurs’ dominance on the offensive end. They showed good ball movement, enabling them to end the second quarter with an 18-point lead.
Coach Luke Walton decided to use his second unit in the second half with the hope of providing some sort of sparks. Unfortunately, his strategy didn’t help as they trailed 106-75 at the end of the third quarter. Coach Gregg Popovich emptied his bench in the fourth quarter and let his starters rest.
However, the Spurs’ second unit still managed to outplay the Lakers and won with a 40-point lead. The Lakers struggled to hit buckets and only three of their players scored double-digits. Julius Randle posted a team-high 22 points, Jordan Clarkson had 14 points and Lou Williams added 10 points.
LAKERS GIVE UP TOO QUICKLY
Walton expressed his disappointment on his team for giving up early in the game. The 36-year-old rookie coach praised the Spurs on how they quickly bounced back from their previous loss.
”Granted we didn’t put up a ton of a fight, but it’s beautiful to see championship teams,” Walton said. ”The way they came out after one loss. How that made them play. How sharp they were tonight. There’s a lot to learn from being in that game and watching that game and being a part of that game.”
The Lakers will face the Los Angles Clippers on Sunday at Staples Center. The Spurs will play against the Phoenix Suns also on Sunday at Mexico City Arena.
Photo courtesy: Zereshk/Wikimedia Commons
Video courtesy: Youtube/Ximo Pierto Final