Rapid Reaction: Spurs 125, Lakers 109

March, 19, 2014
Mar 19
10:17
PM PT
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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LOS ANGELES -- After suffering a franchise-worst 34 point loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni dubbed the Spurs the best team L.A. had faced all season.

Then again, the Lakers were on the road and playing on the second night of a back-to-back and reeling from the news that both Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash would be out for the rest of the season.

With the setting shifting to Staples Center and the Lakers coming into Wednesday having had four days off without a game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich predicted a change of events.

"It will be different tonight," Popovich said before tip-off.

It was and it wasn't.

The Lakers didn't suffer as embarrassing an outcome as they did in Texas, but the result was ultimately the same.

The Lakers lost again. The Spurs scored north of 115 points again while shooting in the mid 40 percent range on 3-pointers again.

L.A. did some things better -- namely closing the rebounding gap down to six, 52-46, after being outboarded 64-37 in San Antonio -- but for another night they were outclassed by a far superior opponent.

How it happened: The Spurs jumped out to an 11-point first-quarter lead, but the Lakers crawled back into it thanks to Xavier Henry scoring 19 of his 24 points in the first half. L.A. trailed by only five points heading into the fourth after taking a brief two-point lead, but the Spurs opened things up late, finishing with seven players in double figures, including all five starters.

What it means: There's 15 more games to go for the 22-45 Lakers. They gave an honest effort Wednesday. More of that and the final 15 might not be too painful.

Hits: Pau Gasol had 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Ryan Kelly had 14 points and six boards and a nice coast-to-coast take.

Kendall Marshall found his shot, scoring 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting.

Robert Sacre grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds.

Misses: L.A. shot only 9-for-26 on 3-pointers (34.6 percent).

MarShon Brooks played only seven minutes, going 0-for-1.

Stat of the game: Kawhi Leonard had the line of the night with 22 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while shooting 8-for-12.

Up next: L.A. will host former Laker Trevor Ariza and the Washington Wizards on Friday. The Wizards have cooled as of late, losing three of their past five games but still feature one of the league's best young backcourts in John Wall and Bradley Beal.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Kobe Bryant
PTS AST STL MIN
25.2 4.8 1.4 35.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.6
AssistsK. Bryant 4.8
StealsK. Bryant 1.4
BlocksE. Davis 1.2