"They rushed us, we tried to keep up with their pace and play at the same pace that they were".
For the first time this season, the Lakers concocted a three-game winning streak.
Aldridge finished with 20 points on the night, while Gasol scored nine points, grabbed 12 rebounds and handed out five assists on the court where he celebrated the Lakers' most recent title. Danny Green is dealing with a groin injury while Tony Parker is dealing a sprained right ankle leaving both of them in doubt for Thursday, while Rudy Gay and Kawhi Leonard have already been ruled out. San Antonio sports an intriguing mix of productive veterans (LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills) and steady youngsters (Kyle Anderson, Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, Davis Bertans) capable of picking up the slack in Pop's system. This lead did not come easy, as the Lakers suffered early fouls and poor perimeter shooting.
"I think he'd been playing long enough that I think everybody knows what his game is, but he's a wonderful human being", Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. A loss to the lowly Hawks (10-29) would have been embarrassing for a team that lost six games during the slide by 17, 10, 15, 18, 37 and 14 points.
Los Angeles has a great opportunity to finish this homestand strongly by beating one of the best teams in the West, so look for that to happen with the team's rookies leading the way. "We got close a couple of times, but then we would turn it over some more due to [the Lakers'] defensive pressure".More news: Donald Trump reckons he would beat Oprah in a Presidential race
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"He's a grown man", the Lakers point guard said of his father's comments. Caldwell-Pope and Nance slammed home back-to-back dunks and Ingram scored consecutive baskets as part of a 13-0 surge to push the Los Angeles advantage to 90-75 with 3:11 to play.
"Um, yeah, his dad was talking s- so I took him out early", Walton deadpanned. The Spurs tallied the final five points of the stanza to move within six.
Lakers: Ball had his ninth career double-double.
This is a lot of dots to connect, especially since we're just four days removed from Windhorst's ESPN colleague Ramona Shelburne reporting that Walton losing his job is "not even a real conversation".
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers look to have recovered from their nine-game absence as they'll be gunning for a third straight win after taking down the Kings by 99-86 on Tuesday. And it is tough for the Lakers, because the names up there aren't just great players.