Los Angeles, CA--The Los Angeles Lakers (0-3) still winless in the regular season fell to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night 143-142 in Overtime. The Lakers short-handed without it's point guard Rajon Rondo and forward Brandon Ingram both serving suspensions from their roles in the altercation with the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.
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LeBron James who now starts 0-3 for the first time since 2005 told reporters after the game "I know what I got myself into." James finished another double-double with 32 points and 14 assist.
James hit the game tying three in regulation so far probably the biggest basket of his Laker career thus far.
That "may" have been overshadowed by the two late free throws missed by the superstar that would have put the Lakers up 144-141 in OT, but the misses allowed Spurs guard Patty Mills to knock down a go-ahead jumper with 6.8 remaining that ultimately closed the door on the Lakers first win.
James also added after the game "It's a process. I get it, and we'll be fine. I didn't come here thinking we were going to be blazing, storming right out of the gate. It's a process, and I understand that."
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Lonzo Ball who got his first start of the year with Rondo being out scored 14 points (10 in 1st) hitting 3 more threes, making it seven total in his past two games. He also had 6 assist and 6 rebounds.
Second year forward Kyle Kuzma had a game-high 37 points on 15-25 from the field. He also made 4 threes.
Second year guard Josh Hart a fan favorite had another double-double his first of the year finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Javale McGee also added another double figure scoring added 16 points.
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The San Antonio Spurs (2-1) led by All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and newest Spur DeMar DeRozan and head Coach Greg Popovich are still part of the Western Conference conversation.
As long as coach Pop is leading the way the Spurs will have a chance to be relevant. Despite being without the future Hall of Famers (Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli) and superstar and former Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard who is now in Toronto.
They were led by Aldridge who had a game-high 37 points (13-22 fg) and 10 rebounds said after the game: "It's always fun to play close games and have them be that type of atmosphere, and overly competitive," Aldridge said. "It was nice to get a close win. It just builds character and makes guys be more confident."
DeRozan who returns home to Los Angeles for the first time as a member of the Spurs matched his former East Coast nemesis (LeBron James) with 32 points and 14 assist. Took 29 shots to do so only making 11, but was also two rebounds away from a triple-double.
The Spurs were a +10 from the free throw line (28-18) and a +6 in the turnover category.
The Lakers now travel to take on it's first non-playoff opponent from a year ago the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday @ 7:30 PT. They must find a away to beat a much better Phoenix team from a year ago.