(Anna Lupean/Los Angeles Lakers)
Lakers at Spurs: 3 Things to Know (11/25/19)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers’ return to San Antonio.
1) AD is in lockdown mode
Anthony Davis continues to assert himself on the defensive end, putting together a five-block, three-steal exhibition in Memphis on Saturday.
Already the league leader in swats with 3.00 per game, Davis is somehow still improving on that end. Seemingly everywhere at once, AD also had a strong defensive outing in L.A.’s last game against the Spurs, holding DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge to just 1-of-6 shooting with two turnovers in their head-to-head possessions.
After beating the Grizzlies, LeBron James praised Davis’ defense, specifically citing “his ability to not only protect the rim, but also to guard guards, to guard forwards, get deflections and get blocks.”
2) LeBron the freight train
The Grizzlies may have ended LeBron’s seven-game stretch of double-digit assists, but he kept another, more important, streak alive.
With 30 points, James gave the Lakers their seventh win in a row — improving their league-best record to 14-2. LeBron was on a mission to get to the basket against Memphis, shooting a whopping 10-of-14 in the restricted area (while surprisingly attempting zero free throws), including on the game’s go-ahead bucket.
We’ll see if he’s looking to score or facilitate in San Antonio, where he dropped a triple-double three weeks ago.
Down 3 with 2 minutes left.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 24, 2019
Cue back-to-back-to-back buckets from AD and Bron. pic.twitter.com/aiftNJ8XjZ
3) Spurs searching for their own streak
Some question marks have arisen in San Antonio since the Lakers’ last visit. The Spurs started the season 4-1, but (beginning with a loss to L.A.) they then lost 10 of their next 12.
In fact, they were on an eight-game losing streak before beating the 4-13 Knicks on Saturday. While it’s still much too early to call, San Antonio will need to make major improvements to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in 23 years.
The good news for the Spurs is their offense — ranked fifth in the NBA despite putting up the league’s fewest 3-pointers (and most mid-rangers). The whole Association knows that DeRozan, Aldridge and co. can get buckets. It’s the 26th-ranked defense that will determine if the turnaround happens.
Lakers: Anthony Davis (sore right shoulder) is probable. Alex Caruso (right calf strain) is questionable. Avery Bradley (hairline fracture, right leg) and DeMarcus Cousins (rehabilitation, right knee) are out. Talen Horton-Tucker, Zach Norvell Jr. and Kostas Antetokounmpo are on G League Assignment.
Spurs: Chimezie Metu, Luka Samanic, Keldon Johnson, Quinndary Weatherspoon and Drew Eubanks are on G League assignment.
Tip-Off: 5:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: Radio Disney 1110 AM / 99.1 FM & 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: Gold Icon
Location: AT&T Center — San Antonio, Texas
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