The Los Angeles Lakers are the same team they were before the All-Star break, dropping their first game back from vacation in a 119-113 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. L.A. kept it close through the final minutes, trying their best to take advantage of a Spurs squad on the second half of a back-to-back and playing without Kawhi Leonard, but Patty Mills drained a dagger three off of a defensive miscue to seal the result.
Jordan Clarkson kept his hot shooting rolling from his Rising Stars Challenge performance, draining all four of his three-point attempts through the first quarter. Clarkson ended the night with 20 points. D'Angelo Russell's night didn't have much to note, posting eight points, three assists and three turnovers in 25 minutes off the bench. Julius Randle continues sandbagging double-doubles, pulling down 15 rebounds to go with his 11 points.
The Lakers couldn't contain Tony Parker, who manipulated the defense with his always-shifting tempo with the ball in his hands. Parker scored a team-high 25 points, with seven of his teammates also breaking double-digit scoring. San Antonio didn't look particularly crisp for a team looking to wrap up the regular season on a high note. Chalk it up to a bad night for a good team.
Larry Nance, Jr. played limited minutes in his return from resting his sore right knee. D'Angelo Russell tweaked his ankle but played through the injury, and Kobe Bryant needed head trainer Gary Vitti to snap his middle finger on his right back into place after seemingly dislocating it late in the fourth quarter. The Lakers are getting an X-ray on his hand after the game, so expect updates on his status over the next 24 hours.
There are only 26 games left on the season, and now we await news on Kobe's shooting hand. The Lakers hit a three-game road trip that opens in Chicago against the Bulls on Sunday.