Everything went right for the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers in their 122-112 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs. With a win on Wednesday, the Lakers swept the season series against Spurs for the first time in 20 years.
Kyle Kuzma carried the Lakers in overtime, hitting back-to-back big shots, including a smooth running sky hook, a shot that has been falling on a more consistent basis for him in the last few games.
Kuzma ended the night with a game-high 30 points and 5 rebounds in 43 (oof) minutes. According to StatMuse, Kuzma is the first Laker since Magic Johnson to record at least four 30-point games in their rookie season. Not bad company.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was also great in his time on the floor, scoring 21 points on an efficient 7-of-9 from the field to go along with 6 rebounds and 6 assists. He also made all five of his free throws, which is something worth celebrating in Los Angeles these days.
Five Lakers finished in double figures including the aforementioned KCP and Kuzma, Julius Randle, TYLER ENNIS AND CHANNING FRYE. Frye and Ennis provided a nice boost off the bench for L.A., combining for 29 points, 19 of which came from Frye, who shot 88.9 percent from the field.
If the Lakers were going to get a win, a few players were going to have to step up. On Wednesday, it was Frye and Ennis.
Julius Randle wasn’t his usual self, with the Spurs holing him to just 12 points on 42 percent shooting from the field, but he was expected to struggle against San Antonio’s size up front with LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol. Luckily, there are few teams that still play two big men at once—even fewer teams that play bigs as skilled as Aldridge and Gasol in the post.
The Lakers will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, another team fighting for their playoff lives. We’ll see if the Lakers can play spoiler once again. See you then.