LeBron James leads fourth-quarter rally as Lakers rout Spurs

first_imgPreviousA fan stands while wearing a Kobe Bryant Jersey during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 129-102. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Lakers center Dwight Howard, right, dunks as Spurs center Jakob Poeltl watches during the first half of Tuesday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, shoots as San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan, second from left, defends along with center Trey Lyles, second from right, while center JaVale McGee watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots as San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay, left, and Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis reach for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, right, gestures after scoring as San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills runs upcourt during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James shoots as San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV goes up for a dunk during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, left, and San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills reach for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, goes to the basket as San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray, left, and guard Bryn Forbes defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 129-102. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 129-102. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James shoots during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, center, shoots as San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan, left, guard Derrick White, right, and center Jakob Poeltl defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 129-102. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis shoots during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 129-102. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, shoots as San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 129-102. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, shoots as San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White, left, and guard Patty Mills defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 129-102. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is swarmed by teammates after making several three point shots in a row during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James I swarmed by teammates after making several 3-point shots in a row during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James gestures during the national anthem as Kobe Bryant’s retired jerseys are lit up in the background, prior to the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)A fan stands while wearing a Kobe Bryant Jersey during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 129-102. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Lakers center Dwight Howard, right, dunks as Spurs center Jakob Poeltl watches during the first half of Tuesday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 21Lakers center Dwight Howard, right, dunks as Spurs center Jakob Poeltl watches during the first half of Tuesday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandLOS ANGELES — The game-winner, for all intents and purposes was hit with 8:29 remaining in Tuesday’s contest.The game was not over, of course. But the Lakers (38-11) acted like LeBron James’ 3-pointer, hoisted while being fouled by Jakob Poeltl, and completing a run of three straight 3-pointers in 52 seconds, was the end-all, be-all of the night. They rushed from the bench to smother him with pats and hugs in a raucous celebration.“It wasn’t even planned,” said Anthony Davis, one of the mob still clad in his purple warm-ups. “We all just took off and ran over there and just kind of jumped on him. Moments like that, it’s why we are the way we are.”The San Antonio Spurs (22-28) were technically still kicking, but the hopes for a comeback felt severely undermined. James’ 15-point outburst in three-and-a-half minutes was essentially the final word in a 129-102 win for the Lakers, their first at home since Jan. 13. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt was notably the Lakers’ first Staples Center victory since the trauma of a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others in Calabasas. Their Friday return had weighed heavy with the sorrow of the tragedy, leading some players to say it hadn’t felt much like an actual game.But this one felt closer to business, and the Lakers’ spirit on that shot by James – one of six 3-pointers he made on the night – showed something that’s been hard to find in the past week-and-a-half: joy.“That’s what we all about, our team,” James said. “Anytime anyone’s having success in the game, we cheer like it’s our own. So having that camaraderie, having that brotherhood, even when they’re beating you up, that’s a pretty cool feeling.”James led the way with 36 points (19 in the fourth quarter), nine assists and seven rebounds. He sparked the 21-13 fourth-quarter run, which also included two 3-pointers by Kyle Kuzma. It transitioned a game in which the Lakers had been inching ahead to a full-fledged blowout. The Lakers barely had to sweat out the rest of the period.To that point, the Lakers had gotten their edge on the Spurs with size: Anthony Davis scored all 18 of his points in the first three quarters, on the receiving end of outlets and long lobs, as well as a few tough midrange jumpers. He finished 8 for 12 from the field but didn’t check in during the fourth quarter as the Lakers put a rout on their visitors. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs center_img Davis found ways to frustrate the Spurs from the start, particularly Aldridge, who couldn’t muscle the Brow out of his breathing room. Davis took shoulder and hip checks from Aldridge, but he didn’t let him get comfortable shots: His first made basket didn’t come until the third quarter, after six missed attempts. He finished with just seven points and three rebounds.DeMar DeRozan was a different beast, gliding around the court and making difficult shots: fadeaways, floaters, off-the-glass leaners. He made one such bank shot before the halftime buzzer, keeping his team within 10 points during the intermission. He finished with 28 points, the game’s most dangerous scorer for the first three quarters.Fans chanted “KO-BE, KO-BE” as the clock ticked off, a chorus that is sure to become a near-constant homage to the star, who still had his initials on the court and on the Lakers’ uniforms. His jerseys still were the only ones on display in the Staples Center rafters, lit up by spotlights.Davis was one of the players who helped break the Lakers out of a sluggish start. In an arena that was slow-filling due to a late time change that moved up the tip-off by 30 minutes, Coach Frank Vogel acknowledged that it was hard to start off on the right note: The Lakers led just 21-19 after one quarter. But they warmed into it as the game went on.“I think when the flow of the game started and started going, once the ball is in play, and our guys and our coaches, we lock in to what we’re doing,” he said. “And then it’s just about competing and doing the job, going out and trying to win the game. It’s certainly going to take time, and it’s always going to feel different. But it did feel more normal once the game got going.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions JaVale McGee added 14 points, Dwight Howard added 12 points and 11 rebounds and the Lakers’ size against the smaller lineup of the Spurs helped give them the decisive rebounding edge (58-28) while not sacrificing speed (27 fast-break points). The Spurs grabbed only three rebounds in the fourth quarter while the Lakers went 16 for 24 from the field.Kuzma’s 18 points and 12 rebounds paced all bench performers, his late 3-pointer rally helping meet the energy that he showed off the glass for most of the night. It was the third straight game Kuzma’s energy seemed to rise above, and the second time in that stretch that he finished with double-digit rebounds.Always a candidate for trade rumors, Kuzma was complimented by his most high-profile teammates afterward.“Whatever he’s been doing the past couple games,” Davis said, “we’re gonna need that for the rest of the year.”Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more