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DeMar DeRozan’s duel with LeBron James broke a number of records

Milestones were set, shots were made, and excitement abounded.

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NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Has everyone who stayed up late and watched the entire Spurs /Lakers game gotten their breath back yet? That’s good, because it was one helluva game with many milestones set. If you weren’t able to see the game or survive until almost 12:30 in the morning, we have you covered.

DeMar DeRozan’s wild start

Let’s face it: it’s only been three games, but DeRozan is leaving scorched earth in his path. We mentioned yesterday that he had already set some Spurs records just in two games, and he didn’t slow down for this one. Here are some more of his accomplishments from both his 32-point, 14-assists (career high!), 8-rebound performance last night and this season as a whole (early as it is):

A rivalry renewed out West

It looks like we have the makings of a rejuvenated Spurs-Lakers rivalry thanks in no small part to DeRozan and LeBron James bringing their own rivalry over from the East.

And in case anyone missed it, LaMarcus Aldridge had quite a game himself:

Of course, a Spurs-Lakers rivalry game is nothing without late-game drama. After a James three sent the game to overtime, capping off an 8-0 Lakers run the final minute of the fourth, the Spurs had a quick 7-0 run inside the final minute of OT for the win, complete with Patty Mills‘ game-winning shot:

Let’s look at that shot again, including with fan reaction from the stands:

Compared to the Lakers’ final attempt, you can see the difference in approaches by each team: set play vs. hero ball (which in fairness had worked pretty well for James up until this point):

As Mills would say after the game, this was a play that the Spurs have run for years . . . it was just usually The Big 3 who ran it. Good to see lessons of a bygone but highly successful era carry over.

More Spurs milestones

This is prior to the game, so tack on one more win for good measure:

I personally love this next one. It seems impossible since Marco Belinelli has spent less than half the amount of time with the Spurs (two seasons plus three games) compared to Robert Horry (5 seasons), but then you remember we’re in an era of more threes being taken, and Big Shot Bob tended to take the regular season off, it makes a little more sense:

And many more:

Lastly, not the most positive of milestones, but a win is a win!


Finally, the Spurs are not going to get much attention this season (as evidenced by their many national TV snubs), so why not take advantage of one of their few games that not only got plenty of attention just because of their opponent, but also because of how it panned out? Here are some links to get you through the day:

It has only been three games, and the Spurs have already put up an instant classic that will be replayed over and over again on NBATV and will be remembered as one of the best games of the season when all is said and done. There’s still a ton of work to do (cough*, defense), but this team is already way more exciting to watch than last year’s iteration, and for now that’s satisfying enough. (I still want wins, though.)

Enjoy the ride Spurs fans! This season is going to be one wild experience. Have a good one!