James scores 42 as Lakers rally past hapless Spurs

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Dec 06 2018 02:46 PM

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dunks past San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during the first half at Staples Center. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LeBron James scored 42 points, including 14 straight points for Los Angeles in a pivotal stretch of the fourth quarter, as the Los Angeles Lakers came from behind to beat the visiting San Antonio Spurs 121-113 on Wednesday.

The game went back and forth through the fourth quarter and was tied at 104 before Lonzo Ball poured in a 3-pointer to give Los Angeles a 107-104 lead with 2:36 to play. 

Kyle Kuzma added a layup after a steal and a pass from James to push the advantage to five points before a Patty Mills 3-pointer brought the Spurs back to within 109-107.

With the Lakers up 112-109, James added a 3-pointer and a layup on Los Angeles' next two possessions and a free throw with 20.8 to play to close out the scoring and the victory for the Lakers.

Kuzma added 22 points for Los Angeles with Ball hitting for 14 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope adding 12 for the Lakers, who beat San Antonio for the first time this season after two losses.

DeMar DeRozen led the Spurs with 32 points in the loss while Rudy Gay scored a season-high 31 points, with 16 of those points in the third quarter. LaMarcus Aldridge also scored 21 points for San Antonio.

The game was the second of a road back-to-back for the Spurs, who lost 139-105 in Utah on Tuesday in what was their third defeat in their past four outings, with all the losses coming by 30 or more points.

The Lakers led by as many as eight points in the first half before assuming a 50-45 advantage at intermission. James led all scorers in the half with 13 points, with Caldwell-Pope adding nine points and six rebounds over the first 24 minutes for the Lakers.

Aldridge scored 10 points to lead San Antonio, with Davis Bertans pouring in nine points on three 3-pointers.

Mills' 3-pointer with 4:16 to play in the third quarter allowed the Spurs to take their largest lead of the game at 72-63, but Los Angeles rallied with an 11-4 run to pull within 76-74 on a Caldwell-Pope free throw with 1:29 remaining in the third. 

A pair of free throws by DeRozan with 4.6 to play in the period garnered the Spurs an 82-78 lead at the end of three quarters.

Los Angeles forward Brandon Ingram suffered a sprained left ankle in the first quarter when he landed on Aldridge's foot. Ingram left the game and did not return to the floor. 

X-rays taken at the arena showed that the ankle was not broken.

The two teams square off again on Friday in San Antonio for the fourth and final time this season. The game will be the first of a six-game homestand for San Antonio between then and Dec. 17.

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