In the last week, the Los Angeles Lakers played the San Antonio Spurs twice, and they beat them both times. On Thursday, the Lakers will play the Spurs for the third and final time with the hope of sweeping them for the second consecutive season.
Their first matchup was hardly a contest, with the Lakers coming out on top 121-107. However, their second matchup was only decided by six points despite the fact that LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 60 points and, as a team, they shot 42.4% from 3-point range. Keldon Johnson was a standout performer in that game, tallying 26 points and 10 rebounds.
The Spurs will have more help on the interior when they travel to Los Angeles on Thursday, as LaMarcus Aldridge is expected to play. Aldridge was sidelined for the first two games because of a sore knee, but he made his return to the court against the Clippers on Tuesday. In 25:14, he tallied 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
Aldridge has caused problems for the Lakers in the past, but he’s been less of an issue for them since Anthony Davis joined the team last season. If Davis isn’t available because of the right adductor strain he suffered against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, then Marc Gasol will likely get that assignment.
The paint should be the least of the Lakers worries, though, at least against the Spurs. A big part of the reason the Spurs have been able to stay competitive this season has been their 3-point shooting. While the young guys have played a part in that, veteran guard Patty Mills has led the way for them, shooting 57.5% from 3-point range on 5.7 attempts per game. He scored 27 points on 8-12 shooting from 3-point range against the Clippers on Tuesday. Suffice to say, they need to keep a close eye on him.
The Lakers and Spurs will tip-off at 7 p.m. on Spectrum SportsNet.
Notes and Updates
- LeBron James (left ankle sprain), Anthony Davis (right adductor strain) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (left ankle sprain) have all been listed as questionable for Thursday night’s game. Caldwell-Pope has missed the last two games, while Caruso has missed the last five.