LOS ANGELES — The San Antonio Spurs (6-12) have lost five in a row and 10 of their last 11 after falling to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
San Antonio was without Gregg Popovich and Jakob Poeltl, and
Poeltl's presence was deeply missed in the paint. Keldon Johnson had one of the worst shooting games of his career, and this one was never really close. The Spurs will return from this road trip and host the Pelicans on Wednesday, then get two more cracks at the Lakers on Friday and Saturday.
Jakob Poeltl was out for this game, and Gregg Popovich was notably absent from the bench due to illness according to the team. Brett Brown stepped in for Pop, and Gorgui Dieng got the start at center.
Devin Vassell pulled up from midrange to open the scoring, then Tre Jones hit a floater. Former Spur Lonnie Walker IV crossed over and drove in for a bucket, and the Lakers got out in front.
Jones found Dieng in transition for a dunk. Vassell hit another mid-range j, then found Jeremy Sochan who swished a 20-footer with the clock winding down.
Anthony Davis got busy for 18 points in the quarter, and the Lakers built a 34-20 lead.
Josh Richardson finally hit the Spurs' first three after they missed their first ten attempts. The Lakers got out to a 17-point lead, but the Spurs chipped away with a series of layups. Sochan crammed home a miss and cut LA's advantage to 10.
San Antonio answered 6 points from the Lakers with a triple each from Dieng and Vassell. Sochan stole a pass from Russell Westbrook and got it up ahead to Tre for a layup. Later he corralled a pass under the basket and dunked it.
A 5-0 run from Lonnie forced a timeout, then Walker dropped a dime on a three. The Spurs trailed 66-48 at halftime.
AD and Lonnie each scored a couple of times to start the second half on an 8-0 run. San Antonio didn't make a basket until there were 4:28 left in the quarter. The Spurs trailed 95-67 at the end of it.
Keldon Johnson finally hit a few shots after starting the game 1-16 from the floor and 0-9 from three. The Spurs finally took advantage of some sloppy turnovers by LA, but at that point the game had already been lost. Brett Brown put the deep reserves in.
San Antonio fell 123-92, making it 10 losses in the last 11 games as they continue to tumble down the standings.
The Spurs are coming off a 119-97 road loss versus the Clippers.
Jakob Poeltl had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the team while Doug McDermott added 13 points. Keldon Johnson finished with 11 points and two rebounds while Keita Bates-Diop recorded nine points.
"They [Clippers] came out firing," Tre Jones said. "It was one of those games. We tried to answer and slowly chip away at the lead. Usually, when a team is shooting like that, shots start to not fall. We can slowly get back into it. They just kept making plays and making those threes."
The Spurs will be in their Classic Edition jerseys tonight.
5 THINGS TO WATCH:
1. Reunion! The Spurs will face ex-Spur Lonnie Walker IV for the first time since he signed with Los Angeles in the offseason.
2. The Spurs have won two-straight games versus the Lakers.
3. The Lakers are 0-8 when trailing after the third period this season.
4. The Lakers are on a two-game winning streak.
5. The Lakers have out-rebounded their opponents in four-straight games.
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