Things aren't getting any easier for the Los Angeles Lakers as they try to maneuver through an ugly stretch of play. The San Antonio Spurs, who are outscoring opponents by a league-best 15.3 points per 100 possessions, aren't going to take it easy on the purple and gold as they chase down the Golden State Warriors. San Antonio is crushing opponents with their top-notch defense, which means a Lakers team that's been struggling to break into 40 percent shooting is in for a very long night.
The last time these teams met this season amounted to one of the many 20-point blowout losses the Lakers have tacked on to a franchise-worst year. Kawhi Leonard's meteoric rise only gains more momentum as he leads the Spurs in scoring (20.1 points per game) while shooting 48.4 percent from three-point range. LaMarcus Aldridge is putting up his his lowest scoring average since his rookie season, but with a reduced role and monitored minute load, it's not a surprising turn for his career.
San Antonio is on the second half of a back-to-back and destroyed the Phoenix Suns by 28 points Thursday night. The saving grace for this game might be Gregg Popovich's penchant for resting his players, especially with a road game against the Warriors on tap for Monday. The Lakers are very bad, the Spurs are very good, and this game will likely be an open-and-shut case as San Antonio looks to extend their 12-game winning streak.
Enjoy the game, which happens to fall on the 10-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant's legendary 81-point outburst.
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: TWCSN, FSSW