SPURS GAMEDAY: Silver and Black go back into the lion’s den Tuesday night
Written by Staff Writer on February 4, 2020
Spurs return to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where they lost a close game to the Clippers on Monday, to play the grieving Lakers.
Spurs (22-27) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (37-11)
When, where: Tuesday, 9 p.m., Staples Center, Los Angeles
All-time series record: Spurs lead 89-84
Last season: Spurs won 3-1
Season series: Lakers lead 2-0
Last meeting: Lakers 114, Spurs 104, Nov. 25, AT&T Center
Spurs’ last game: Lost to Clippers 108-105, Monday, Los Angeles
Lakers’ last game: Beat Kings 129-113, Saturday, Sacramento, Calif.
Spurs’ last 10 games/streak: 5-5, lost one
Lakers’ last 10 games/streak: 6-4, won one
Spurs’ injury/inactive report: Forward DeMarre Carroll (illness), day-to-day; forward Luka Samanic (G League), out; guard Quinndary Weatherspoon (G League), out.
Lakers’ injury/inactive report: Forward Kostas Antetokounmpo (G League), out; forward Devontae Cacok (G League), guard Alex Caruso (neck; soreness), probable; center DeMarcus Cousins (right knee; rehabilitation), out; forward/center Anthony Davis (right shoulder; soreness), probable; guard Talen Horton-Tucker (G League), out.
Notable: The Lakers lead the Western Conference and have the second-best record in the league. San Antonio is 10th in the Western standings, half a game behind No. 9 Portland (23-27) and 2.5 games behind No. 8 Memphis (25-25). The top eight teams in each of the NBA’s two conferences qualify for the playoffs . . . The Spurs are playing the Lakers on the second night of a back-to-back. The game is the second of the Silver and Black’s annual Rodeo Road Trip. San Antonio will play eight games in 21 days during the extended trip . . . The Spurs play Portland on Thursday and end the week against Sacramento on Saturday.
The atmosphere will be thick with emotion Tuesday night when the Spurs return to the Staples Center to play the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Silver and Black opened their annual Rodeo Road Trip with a 108-105 loss Monday night to the Los Angeles Clippers in the same arena.
Los Angeles has been in mourning since Jan. 26, when Lakers icon Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., about 30 miles northwest of downtown L.A.
Tuesday night’s game will be the Spurs’ first against the Lakers in Los Angeles since the tragedy. The Lakers are 2-0 against the Silver and Black this season, with both victories coming at the AT&T Center.
L.A. beat San Antonio 114-104 on Nov. 25 and 103-96 on Nov. 3. Tuesday’s game will be the last of the regular season between the Western Conference rivals.
The Spurs blew a 15-point lead in the first half and were up by five, 102-97, with 3:04 left before the Clippers went on a 9-0 run that secured the win. With L.A. ahead 104-102, Paul George hit a short jumper to put the Clippers ahead 106-102 with 13.7 seconds left.
Patty Mills nailed his sixth three-pointer to cut the deficit to one, 108-105, with 2.8 seconds remaining. Lew Williams was fouled on the Lakers’ final possession and made two free throws to seal the three-point victory.
“We played a hell of a team,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I was really proud of our guys. I thought we were great. The third quarter was tough, we were 6-for-22 and that really made it tough for us.”
Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, going against Lakers center/forward Dwight Howard, scored 30 points in the Spurs’ 114-104 loss to Los Angeles on Nov. 25 at the AT&T Center.Photo by Antonio Morano bit.ly/XR79FT / Special to KENS5.com
Trailing 63-54 at the half, the Lakers outscored the Silver and Black 31-19 in the third quarter to take an 85-82 lead into the final period. San Antonio was 6 of 22 from the field in the third period and went the first 6:20 of the second half without a field goal.
But the Spurs regained their footing in the fourth quarter, fighting the Lakers to a 23-23 standoff.
“The guys hung tough,” Popovich said. “We had a wide-open three there at the end. It didn’t go. That would have put us ahead, and then Beverley made a big one from the corner. End of game.”
LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan led the Silver and Black’s scoring with 27 and 26 points. Aldridge just missed a double-double, finishing with nine rebounds. Patty Mills scored 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting, all from the three-point line.
“I think at this stage, we just have to be able to understand what makes this group go and try to stick with it, keeping everybody’s positive vibes going in the right direction together,” Mills said. “That’s the most important thing.
“All the good things that we’ve done in tonight’s game, put it in the bank and move forward together. That’s the most important thing we have going in this season. The good sign is that we’re all hanging in there together.
“We’re looking to [do a lot in this Rodeo Road Trip], but the best thing about it is that we’re hanging tough together and we’re going to grind through it.”