Russell sits as Spurs and Lakers clash at Staples

Russell sits as Spurs and Lakers clash at Staples

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It didn’t start off pretty for the Los Angeles Lakers, but it got better as the evening went along.

Unfortunately, the San Antonio Spurs were too much for the young Lakers, as the Spurs won 116-107 at Staples Center on Friday night.

The Lakers started off with just 16 points in the first quarter, and they struggled to establish an offensive identity without their starting point guard. The team responded with a 36 point second quarter to go into the break with a tie game.

Lou Williams provided a huge spark off the bench, finishing with a game-high 24 points on 9-13 from the field to go with three dimes. The Lakers were without D’Angelo Russell, as the second year point guard sat out the contest on Friday night with a sore knee. Luke Walton decided to go with veteran Jose Calderon in the starting lineup in order to keep the bench intact.

Spurs use team effort

It goes without saying, but the Spurs used a team effort to get the win at Staples. Gregg Popovich’s team had seven players, including all five starters, finish with double figures. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for San Antonio, finishing with 23 points apiece.

Leonard, the former So-Cal resident and San Diego State product, finished with 23 on a 7-15 clip with 12 boards and seven dimes. Pau Gasol and Tony Parker each had 16 points as the Spurs shot 56 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the arc in an offensive showcase.

The Spurs used a huge 39-point third quarter to separate from the Lakers and never looked back, fighting to secure the win and remain undefeated on the road in this young 2016 season.

Tony Parker hit a jumper over Larry Nance Jr. with 33 seconds left to ultimately seal the victory for the Spurs.

“Swaggy P” is back

Swaggy’s back, back again. Yes he’s back, tell a friend.

Yes, Nick “Swaggy P” Young has been a revelation this season for the Lakers, and he was outstanding tonight. Young had 22 points on a very efficient 7-12 from the field as he made big basket after big basket. Young had another four-point play, knocking down a huge three after being fouled by Parker in the first half.

No more than nine months after being phased out by Byron “Cross-arms” Scott, Nick Young is shooting 45 percent from the field and averaging 13.4 points per game to start the season.

Will the recent success of Swaggy P continue, or will he cool off?

Lakers almost escape with the W

The Lakers team effort was on display, as is becoming the norm, and the bench combined for 57 points tonight, continuing their torrid pace on the year as one of the NBA’s most prolific bench units. Lou Williams had 24 and Jordan Clarkson added 20 points on 7-15, but ultimately, the absence of D’Angelo Russell was too much for this young Lakers team to overcome.

Just 48 hours after his first triple-double of the year and second of his career, Julius Randle flirted with another. Randle had 13 points on a 6-13 clip to go with nine boards and seven dimes. Randle used his athleticism and speed again and again, pushing the ball up and creating plays for his teammates.

Luol Deng also found his shot again tonight, finishing with 10 points on 4-10 from the field and six boards for Luke Walton’s team.

Up Next

The Lakers tough stretch continues as they will take on the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night at Staples Center before taking on the Thunder and Warriors twice.

For the Spurs, they have the weekend off and will take on the Dallas Mavericks back in San Antonio on Monday night.

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