SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs rang in a new year with a brand new look, debuting their new fiesta court while wearing their fiesta uniforms at home for the first time this season.
While the court and threads were nice, so were the Spurs’ play but it was not enough as they fell 109-103 to the Los Angeles Lakers (4-2) at the AT&T Center on Friday.
Derrick White made his season debut for San Antonio, scoring nine points in 22 minutes of action off the bench. LaMarcus Aldridge missed his second consecutive game for San Antonio with right knee soreness.
“We played a heck of a basketball team, and we were a good basketball team tonight also,” Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said. “So, I was happy with their play.”
San Antonio had a tough time putting a handle on Anthony Davis, who scored 34 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. LeBron James added 26 points but scored just seven points in the fourth quarter on 2-for-11 shooting.
Dennis Schroder added 15 points in the win for Los Angeles.
Three Standout Players
The second-year forward continues to impress early on in the season and shows why the Spurs’ future is so bright with Johnson as one of the cogs to the offense moving forward.
Johnson finished with a double-double, scoring a career-high 26 points and pulling down 10 rebounds while shooting 63 percent from the floor. The former Mustang hit five-of-nine from three-point land and defensively, he held his own against James and Davis.
“He’s a competitor,” Popovich said of Johnson. “He’s a fine young player and he’s going to have a great career. That’s about all I can say. He’s been wonderful.”
As usual, the Spurs got another solid game out of their leading scorer as DeMar DeRozan did his best to keep pace with the deadly LeBron and A.D. combo.
DeRozan finished with 23 points on 50 percent shooting to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists on the night. He also connected on three of his four three-point attempts, showing he has committed to chucking more shots from downtown.
“I don’t think nothing of it,” DeRozan said of his three-point shooting.
The young Spurs point guard followed up his career game on Wednesday with another solid outing on Friday.
Murray shot 38 percent from the floor and scored 12 points on the night. He was aggressive with the ball and drove the paint, attacking the rim 79 percent of the time down the floor when he has the ball. That’s up from the 50-plus percent he’s had throughout his career.
Murray also chipped in eight rebounds to his stat line, an area he looks to improve each outing to match his aggressive play on the offensive end as well as the defensive end.
The Spurs will close out their homestand on Sunday against the Utah Jazz before hitting the road for five consecutive games.