- Eric Martinez
Balanced contributions from Lakers spark 4th quarter win over Spurs 113-104
The Los Angeles Lakers have been waiting for the return of Anthony Davis. In the meantime, several players have helped to fulfill certain aspects from the Center position. Thomas Bryant has played consistent and is showing upside. The problem that the Lakers have had this season is the lack of depth due to several injuries. The Lakers entered Wednesday nights’ game on a back-to-back after losing to the Clippers on Tuesday. The front office recognized the need to bolster the forward/center position and made a trade for former Wizards’ forward, Rui Hachimura. Both Anthony Davis returning and the debut of Rui Hachimura was something that the Lakers fan base needed.
Lakers head coach, Darvin Ham, understood it would take times to figure out the rotation and assignment for minutes for the roster. “We were all figuring out ways we could mix and match. We just wanted to get guys in there. With AD coming back and Riu being new, we had to work through some kinks. When we got settled into the game, guys had different runs,” Coach Ham emphasized after the game. Coach Ham was completely right. Five players ended up in double figures: LeBron James (20 points), Pat Beverley (18 points), Anthony Davis (21 points), Rui Hachimura (12 points), Russell Westbrook (14 points).
The Lakers out-scored the Spurs 32 to 22 in the 4th quarter and there was a noticeable sense of momentum swing first by the hustle plays by Thomas Bryant and the thunderous slam dunk he showed, the hang time of LeBron James mid-range fade away, and not to mention the late three-point contribution from Rui Hachimura. As a team, the Lakers shot 44.4% from the field, and outrebounded the Spurs 56 to 48. Turnovers still are a concern, and last night Lakers continued that trend turning the ball over 20 times. Anthony Davis gave the fans at Crypto.com Arena excitement and hope and LeBron looked comfortable running the offense to lead the Lakers to a 113 to 104 win.
San Antonio Spurs have lost the past 3 games and are 14th in the Western Conference. The Spurs will play a back-to-back against the Clippers on Thursday night. The Los Angeles Lakers improve to 23-26 record and now head to Boston for a Saturday evening showcase against the league leading Celtics. With the pieces returning, Saturday night should be a regular season showdown between the two rivals.