The Spurs brought more fight to tonight’s game. They certainly did not disappoint the magical mouse and ESPN.
Despite yesterday’s struggles, San Antonio delivered more competitiveness to Los Angeles tonight. The overall game flow was purposely plodding at times and crazily chaotic at others. But most importantly, the Spurs were able to keep within striking distance of the Lakers all night.
LaMarcus Aldridge got into some early foul trouble including a flagrant one on Brandon Ingram, who was making his first appearance against the Spurs this season (Ingram missed both games earlier in the season against the Spurs due to suspension) but unfortunately quickly exited due to an ankle injury.
The third quarter belonged to Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan (both ended up with 31 and 32 points, respectively) who both carried the scoring load. Gay rebounded emphatically from last night’s loss to the Utah Jazz. Of course, LeBron James energized the Lakers with several and-1s and took over the fourth quarter with his scoring and finding open teammates for dagger threes. The Spurs looked a lot better than they did last night, but it wasn’t enough against James who came alive in the 4th and sealed the game with a combo of threes and fastbreak points.
- Dante Cunningham returned to the starting lineup, most likely to shadow LeBron James.
- National TV games do offer a different perspective, but early in the game Mark Jackson mentioned that the Spurs have two three-point threats on the floor (Davis Bertans and Patty Mills) ignoring Rudy Gay and his 51% three-point percentage. I know Gay had zero points last night, but come on, man.
- Don’t adjust your TV: it’s not 2005. Brian Shaw is still an assistant coach for the Lakers.
- James looks more comfortable with the Lakers, and the Lakers look more comfortable with him. However, no one’s really talking about his struggles from the free throw line this season. Maybe move Denzel Washington back a few rows so James won’t be so star-struck.
- Aldridge surrounded by four other three-point threats (Marco Belinelli, Derrick White, Bertans, and Mills) on the floor with him leading the offense had a nice flow. We did not see it for long, but I would like to see it more.
- A microcosm of the Spurs’ season can be seen in the infamous between-quarter interview with Gregg Popovich: he’s much more cordial and not at all snarky. Hopefully more wins will bring back the ornery quips that we all love.
Tune In Next Time:
San Antonio returns home to play . . . the Los Angeles Lakers again! on Friday, December 7 at 7:30 PM CDT.