San Antonio visits the King in Los Angeles from the Staples Center at 10:30pmET on ESPN. These teams have met twice already, with the Spurs winning in overtime by one on Oct. 22 and by four at home on Oct. 27. The Spurs have to face Utah on the road on Tuesday night, while the Lakers are off.
One step forward, one step back
Welcome to mediocrity. Without Kawhi Leonard or him playing about 1/8 of the season, the Spurs went 47-35. Without a true point guard, with Tony Parker gone to Charlotte and Manu Ginobili retired, San Antonio may be headed towards a rare destination-the NBA Lottery. The Spurs have been so inconsistent, they have not won two straight games since they beat New Orleans and Phoenix in back to back games from Oct. 31-Nov. 3.
But on Sunday, riding a two-game losing streak to Houston and Minnesota, San Antonio played one of their best games of the season, crushing Portland, 131-118 at home. DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 36 points for the Spurs, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 29 points and eight boards on 11-of-15 shooting. Patty Mills scored 15 points off the bench with six assists.
San Antonio has a point guard issue with Bryn Forbes and Mills logging the minutes due to the knee injury to Dejounte Murray in preseason. Injuries are also hampering the team up front with Pau Gasol (foot) out indefinitely. Defense is a major concern for the Spurs, who rank 22nd in points allowed per game (112.3ppg), 28th in field goal defense (48.1%) and 23rd in 3-point percentage defense (36.2%). Offensively, they rank first in three-point shooting percentage (38.9%) and third in free throw percentagte (82%).
Lakers starting to click
It took about a month but the Los Angeles Lakers are starting to look like a team. Saying they are a contender might be a stretch in their three-game winning streak. The Lakers won all three straight at home, beating Indiana (104-96), Dallas (114-103) and Phoenix (120-96). They did beat Indiana without Victor Oladipo, who was out with a knee injury.
In the Lakers last game, they crushed the Suns at home on Sunday. Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points and grabbed eight boards to lead the Lakers. LeBron James scored 22, dished out eight assists and grabbed six boards for the Lakers, who shot 50 percent from the floor and 11-fo-27 (41%) from beyond the arc. Los Angeles not only dominated the game but the glass (56-40). They also held the Suns to 39.8 percent shooting from the floor.
James leads the Lakers in scoring with 27.8 points per game, in assists with 6.7 per game and rebounds with 7.7. Defensively, the Lakers are playing decently, holding teams to just 44.6 percent from the field (7th). On offense, Los Angeles averages 112.7 points per game and shoot 47.6 percent from the field (6th). Their biggest issue on offense is three-point shooting where they rank 20th in the league (34.5%) and at the free throw line, where they shoot a dreadful 70.6% (28th).
- 5-1 ATS last 6 home games.
- 0-4 ATS last 4 Wednesday games.
- 6-16 ATS last 22 road games