The Lakers did something they have rarely done in recent seasons on Sunday by blowing out the Spurs at home in their first of three meetings this upcoming week, 123-92.
Anthony Davis continued his thoroughly dominant stretch of basketball, pouring in 30 points with 18 rebounds, two assists, three steals, and a block in 28 minutes. He finished with a plus-minus of +34 and only briefly needed to even take the court in the fourth quarter.
Austin Reaves also continued his strong stretch of late with 21 points on 7-11 shooting, including 3-4 shooting from the 3-point line. Russell Westbrook notched a triple-double off the bench, tallying 10 points, 10 assists, and four rebounds in 22 minutes.
Against one of the worst teams in the league that was also without its starting center and one of its best players in Jakob Poeltl — as well as head coach Gregg Popovich — the Lakers had little resistance in this contest from the start. After San Antonio had a small lead in the early minutes, the Lakers took control of the game and never looked back.
The lead reached double digits late in the first quarter, then absolutely ballooned across the next two periods. The Lakers held a 66-48 lead at the half and then increased the lead to as many as 34 points in the third period before leading 95-67 heading into the final frame.
Without much in the way of deterrents in the paint for the Lakers, AD notched his 30 points while barely breaking a sweat, going 12-19 from the field. Thomas Bryant, in his second game back, was a perfect 5-5 from the field for 14 points and feasted on bench units while being the recipient of a number of those Westbrook assists.
More than anything, this game represented something the Lakers haven’t had in many games over the last two years: comfort. The Spurs were so bad that not even they could take advantage of the third-quarter Lakers. None of AD, Reaves, Lonnie Walker IV or Russ played more than 28 minutes, an important development in a week as busy as the one the Lakers are about to have.
Kendrick Nunn was a bright spot in the fourth quarter, breaking out of his recent slump by finishing with 13 points on 4-8 shooting while knocking down three of his six 3-point attempts. Both Bryant and Dennis Schröder got extended runs as well as they return from injury.
At the same time, this coming against a Spurs team that the Lakers will see two more times at the end of the week, albeit on the road, is also a big mental boost in an important stretch of the season.
The three-game win streak for the Lakers is the first time they’ve won three consecutive contests since early January of last season. They’ll look to make it a four-game streak on Tuesday in Phoenix with tip-off set for 7 p.m. Pacific on TNT.