The day after the first round of their double confrontation in Texas, Spurs and Lakers found themselves again, but this time without Anthony Davis, shot in the calf. On his side, LeBron James was indeed present after his return to competition and he took the opportunity to highlight himself.
Author of 39 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes, the quadruple MVP effectively made the show against San Antoniosigning there his best performance of the season, to guide the players of Los Angeles to a new success (143-138). Their fifth in six games, acquired despite all the selflessness of the proteges of Gregg Popovich…
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
— LeBron James royal without Anthony Davis. Here it is, the best match of the season of the “King”. The day after his delicate recovery, he was well dressed for this back to back and he did not fail to behave like a boss, which has not always been the case so far. Aggressive towards the circle and perfect on the line (10/10), but above all successful at 3-pts (7/12), the quadruple NBA champion wandered all evening against the Texan “defense”. Beyond that, we will remember that it was he who, in the second, third and fourth quarters, was at the origin of these accelerations of the Lakers, which overthrew then distanced the Spurs.
— San Antonio did not deserve. Unlike the day before, the Spurs played, and even played quite well. The problem is that their defensive largesse, coupled with their lapses in concentration due to the overall inexperience of their group, is lacking, and not just a bit. Dominating in the first period, Gregg Popovich’s men gradually let the Lakers take the lead, as they gave them confidence to 3-point and accumulate shots. Led after the break, but eye-catching, the Texans kept picking up the score, but LeBron James and others, inevitably superior, watched over the grain.
— Russell Westbrook’s anger at Zach Collins. While the pace of the match had fallen since returning from the locker room, tempers flared at the very end of the third quarter. In question: a foul by Zach Collins on Russell Westbrook, hit in the forehead by an elbow and who bled profusely. Furious, the 2017 MVP received a technical foul for wanting to do battle with the interior of the Spurs. For his part, he was purely and simply expelled for his gesture, which however seemed involuntary on the images.
✅ Dennis Schröder. Symbols of the effectiveness of the Lakers bench, Austin Reaves (16 points) and Wenyen Gabriel (15 points) would have deserved a little mention, as well as a valuable Lonnie Walker IV (19 points) in the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, we prefer to dwell on the good performance of Schröder (21 points, 6 assists). Holder in the absence of Patrick Beverley, he very well knew how to relay LeBron James this night, without Anthony Davis. Aggressive and successful from afar from the start, the German leader delivered his best game of the season and he is slowly but surely finding his feelings in the game…
✅ Tre Jones. Certainly his team’s top scorer, Keldon Johnson (28 points, 10 rebounds) also watered a lot (10/28 in the shoot, including 3/9 at 3-pts). Hence the choice of maestro Jones, in a double-double and on the verge of a triple-double tonight: 23 points, 8 rebounds and 13 assists! Very clean in shooting (9/13) and with the ball (a single loss of ball), the Spurs point guard was the main driver of Gregg Popovich’s men. In front of Devin Vassell for example (20 points), the other player who has shown the most consistency today, on the side of San Antonio.
⛔ The injuries of Jakob Poeltl and Jeremy Sochan. While he was doing a real job in the paint of the Lakers, in the absence of Anthony Davis, Jakob Poeltl (12 points and 9 rebounds, including 4 offensive, in 10 minutes!) had to leave his teammates in the middle of the second quarter, due to quadriceps pain. An injury identical to that of Jeremy Sochan (5 points and 3 rebounds in 14 minutes), who joined him in the infirmary just before the break, not to return afterwards either…
⛔ Defenses. When it is impossible for us to identify a bad individual performance, it is generally that it is a match where the attacks are at the party. Illustration with this Spurs / Lakers, where the players of each team stuffed themselves and were able to heal their personal stats. On arrival, it would almost be a parody of basketball: 281 points and 35 3-pointers in total, from 59/52/87 as percentages of success for Los Angeles, compared to the 51/49/70 of San Antonio. Not to mention a total of 27 ball losses throughout the game. In short: go your way if you want to see the defense.
San Antonio (6-15) : trip to OKC, overnight from Wednesday to Thursday (02:00).
Los Angeles (7-11) : reception of Indiana, on the night of Monday to Tuesday (04:30).