Both teams got off to a sluggish start on Thursday night, but the Lakers picked up the pace and led by as many as 19 points late in the second quarter.
However, even without their key players, the Spurs were always going to be a threat because of the man in charge, Gregg Popovich, and they were competitive up until the dying minutes of the game.
The Lakers were able to escape with the win thanks in part to Brandon Ingram’s 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s phenomenal second-half defense. KCP ended the game with 10 points and FIVE steals.
Lonzo Ball finished with another double-double in a row, adding in 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Ball was unusually careless with the ball in the second half, turning it over five times, but he cleaned things up when it mattered.
Last but not least, Larry Nance Jr. was the motor that drove the Lakers on Thursday. Whether it was his hustle on the defensive end or his monster dunks on the side of the floor, Nance energized the Lakers and willed them to the win.
The Lakers will travel to Dallas on Saturday to visit the Mavericks where they will hope to make it four in a row.