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10 Things to Know: Lakers at Spurs (1/12/17)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers pay a visit to the San Antonio Spurs.
1) D’Angelo Russell is coming off one of his worst shooting nights of the season, but has been providing a bit of everything for the Lakers lately. Over his last three games, the 20-year-old is averaging 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals to help the Lakers to a 2-1 record in that span.
2) Unfortunately for Los Angeles, that one loss came in rough fashion during the team’s last game against Portland on Tuesday. The Lakers took a two-point lead into halftime before experiencing one of their ugliest halves of the year, putting up just 30 points while being outscored by 23 the rest of the way.
3) The Lakers are looking to snap an eight-game losing streak to San Antonio, which was extended in their first meeting on Nov. 18. With Russell out due to a sore knee, the Lakers nonetheless hung with their visitors, falling by nine as seven Spurs scored in double figures.
HIGHLIGHTS: Clarkson, Williams, and Young all score 20-plus points but the Lakers fall to the Spurs, 116-107 pic.twitter.com/iHlNUp5Em2— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 19, 2016
4) San Antonio has unsurprisingly been one of the NBA’s top teams, reaching the league’s second-best record (30-8) while outscoring opponents by 8.2 points per night. The Spurs have been relentless on both sides of the ball, joining Golden State as the only teams to rank in the top five for both offensive (fourth) and defensive efficiency (third).
5) When it comes to pure accuracy, few teams can boast the marksmanship of the Spurs, who have the league’s second-best field goal percentage (47.6). Specifically, their players can let it fly from outside, as they lead the NBA in percentage on 3-pointers (41.2), spot-up shots (45.4) and catch-and-shoot attempts (45.2) — as well as free throws (82.0).
6) No stranger to dominant defenses, the Spurs yield the NBA’s second-fewest points per game (97.8) by keeping opponents fruitless at the 3-point line and on the boards, while also slowing down the pace of game. They are also capable of making some highlight plays on this end, ranking second in blocks (5.9).
7) San Antonio’s leader on both ends is two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard. The Riverside naive is on pace for a career season, putting up the league’s 13th-most points (24.1) and fifth-most steals (1.89) while continuing to serve as one of the league’s best outside shooters.
8) The Spurs could be without one of the NBA’s hottest players, as LaMarcus Aldridge missed Tuesday’s loss to Milwaukee due to illness. The five-time All-Star is averaging 23.0 points on a colossal 69.5 percent clip from the field over his last seven games.
9) Pau Gasol might be on pace for a career-low in points (11.9), but the former Laker has made plenty out of his opportunities, particularly from the perimeter. He is shooting the fourth-best percentage on jumpers (46.3) and has been money on corner 3-pointers, where he has knocked down 61.1 percent of his shots.
10) While Leonard, Aldridge, Gasol and Patty Mills all have plenty of range, the leader of the Spurs’ perimeter battalion is Danny Green. The eight-year vet is currently hitting the NBA’s second-best 3-point percentage (45.7) and is on pace for a career-high from the field (45.4) — just one year after recording his worst mark.
Lakers: D’Angelo Russell (sore left knee), Julius Randle (sprained left ring finger) and Tarik Black (sore right ankle) are probable. Larry Nance Jr. (bone bruise, left knee) is out.
Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge (illness) is TBD.
Tip-off: 5:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW