The Los Angeles Lakers managed a narrow 122-119 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, despite the absence of LeBron James due to left calf soreness. This game marked the first back-to-back of the season that James missed, having played all prior instances and only missing one other game in his 21-year career.
Anthony Davis rose to the occasion, delivering an impressive performance with 37 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 steals. This marked his third consecutive game scoring 37 points or more, a pivotal contribution that extended the Spurs' losing streak to 18 games.
Rui Hachimura started in place of James, while Davis (left hip) and Jarred Vanderbilt (back spasms), who were initially listed as questionable, were cleared to play just before the game began.
Coach Ham's Call for Consistency
Lakers coach Darvin Ham emphasized the need for the team to focus on their performance, regardless of the opponent's record.The Lakers, according to Ham, need to represent themselves well every time they step onto the court, a philosophy that underscores the team's approach to continuous improvement.
"We got to add common sense to our talent," Ham said, stressing the importance of building winning habits and striving for consistency.
Despite a strong showing from Wembanyama, who scored 30 points with 13 rebounds and 6 blocks, the Lakers managed to secure the win. Davis's four consecutive free throws in the closing moments played a crucial role in ensuring the Lakers' victory.
Ham acknowledged the importance of any win in the league but also pointed out areas for improvement. "Whenever you can get a win in this league against whoever, you have to be thankful," he noted. "But that said, there's a lot of things we can take away that we know good damn well we need to get better at."The Lakers now look forward to a day off before facing the Spurs again in San Antonio on Friday.