SAN ANTONIO – DeMar DeRozan along with some improved team defense lifted the San Antonio Spurs to a 110-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers (2-4) at the AT&T Center on Saturday night.
The win saw San Antonio bounce back from their first home loss of the season against Indiana on Wednesday and moves the Silver and Black above .500. The Spurs have now won two of their last three games.
“The communication of the team is getting better,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “It’s going to be a process but they are on the right track of learning how to play well with each other.”
- The Spurs finally had a decent defensive performance in the game, holding the Lakers to 18 points in the fourth quarter and 24 points in the second quarter. Los Angeles’ 106 points are the fewest an opponent has scored against the Spurs this season.
- DeMar DeRozan… enough said.
- Pau Gasol had a solid night off the bench. More on that in a moment.
- Rudy Gay finished Saturday night’s game with 16 points and 10 rebounds as he came off the bench for the first time all season.
- Gregg Popovich won Game # 1,200 as a coach, making him the first coach in NBA history to win 1200 games with a single team.
- Despite the improved defense, San Antonio still allowed the Lakers to score over 100 points, making it five straight games of opponents scoring 100-plus on the Spurs. Through the five games played, the Spurs are giving up an average of 118.6 points per game.
- Davis Bertans got the start for the Spurs for his offensive firepower but did not score on the night. He went 0-for-2 on the night and was a -1.
- LaMarcus Aldridge struggled shooting, scoring 15 points going 7-of-16 from the field. Credit the Lakers for the defense they played on Aldridge, throwing double teams and switches at him.
Three Standout Players:
If anyone needed further proof DeMar DeRozan thrives in Coach Pop’s system, look no further than Saturday night’s game against the Lakers.
DeRozan finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. Through five games, the guard now has two double-doubles this season after having just five all season last year with the Toronto Raptors.
It is fitting he did it against the Lakers as he had a Kobe Bryant-like game-winning shot to put the Spurs up for good.
DeMar with the Kobe-like dagger to beat the Lakers ❄️ pic.twitter.com/qkU34GDhrR
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 28, 2018
“As long as we understand we’re going to continue to build and get better,” DeRozan said. “That will give us a lot of faith and we’ll look forward to the next game. Because we know how much better we can be and how much better we’re going to be.”
The veteran big man had a big hand in helping the Spurs rally from 14-points down in the second half. Gasol came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points and pull down 12 rebounds.
He had two huge putback dunks to bring the Spurs within one point two different times and went 4-of-5 from the floor overall. Pop made a big move by moving Gasol to the bench as he gives a bigger impact with the second unit.
While the young guard may need to improve his defense, it was Forbes’ shooting that helped provide a spark for the Spurs on Saturday.
Forbes finished with 16 points on 60 percent shooting from the floor. 14 of Forbes’ 16 points were scored in the second half as he slid his way through the Lakers’ defense twice to get to the hole.
“There were a lot of guys who played well and competed,” Popovich said. “I thought their competitiveness was off the charts. When you compete for 48 minutes and play defense you have a chance.”
The Spurs are now 3-2 on the season and will return to the court on Monday night when they welcome the Dallas Mavericks (2-3) to the AT&T Center at 7:30 pm Central Time.