Spurs third quarter rally falls short, lose 105-94 to Lakers

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

What’s new?

The Spurs were able to climb themselves out of a 20-point deficit in the third quarter to trail by just three points, though the Los Angeles Lakers were able to pull away 105-94 on Friday night at the AT&T Center. This is the first game of a back-to-back matchup between the two teams.

After signing with Los Angeles in the offseason, Lonnie Walker IV had 15 first-half points in his first return to San Antonio to push the Lakers to their hot start. 

“He was spectacular,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Walker IV after the game. “He did a great job. He made shots; he was very patient, made good decisions, he was wonderful.”

The former Spur finished the game with 18 points, while teammates Anthony Davis and LeBron James finished with 25 and 21, respectively.

Tre Jones led the way for San Antonio with 19 points on 7/13 shooting. Devin Vassell had 18 points, including nine in the third quarter. Keldon Johnson had 10 of his 15 points in the quarter, helping the Spurs outscore Los Angeles by 14 points in the third.

How it happened

The Lakers jumped out to an early 9-2 lead. Walker IV had 10 first quarter points, guiding the Lakers to a 12-point lead after the first quarter.

Walker IV and James built on the Laker lead, going up by as many as 20 points. In the first half, Los Angeles shot 53.3 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from the three-point line, while San Antonio shot 36.4 percent from the field and 13.3 percent from three. As a result, the Spurs found themselves training 59-41 at the break.

Johnson and Vassell’s combined 19-point quarter sparked the Spurs team as they outscored the Lakers 34-20 in the quarter. After three quarters, Vassell made a late jump shot, cutting the lead to 79-75. 

After dwindling the score to 81-78, the Spurs’ shots fell cold while Los Angeles was able to slip away. A 9-0 run by the Lakers early in the fourth propelled them to win 105-94.

Coach’s thoughts

Once again, [we] had to come from behind. We spot them 20 points in the first half, in the second half, we did everything better. We didn’t make shots, but, as far as defense, rebounding, and that sort of thing, we were much better and much more aggressive in the second half,” Popovich said.

What’s next?

Tonight was the first of a back-to-back matchup between the Spurs and Lakers. San Antonio will look to bounce back against Los Angeles tomorrow at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26, at the AT&T Center.