The Los Angeles Lakers rode a balanced attack led by LeBron James and a number of other players to win their fifth consecutive game and move to 2-0 on the first road trip of the 2019-20 NBA season, beating the San Antonio Spurs 103-96.
As is starting to become a trend this season, the Lakers got off to a slow offensive start, not getting their first points until about three minutes into the game.
However, once they scored, the flood gates opened and at the first timeout less than five minutes into the game, the Lakers held a 10-7 lead over the Spurs.
Kyle Kuzma was the first substitution into the game for the Lakers, checking in for JaVale McGee and moving Anthony Davis to the center position. Kuzma was immediately tasked with guarding LaMarcus Aldridge, one which he handled successfully.
After picking up his second foul of the quarter, Danny Green had to go to the bench and was replaced by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Alex Caruso came in shortly after to replace James following a strong first eight minutes from the 34-year-old.
The Lakers, after turning the ball over an uncharacteristic eight times in the first quarter, survived to the end of the period with a 26-25 advantage.
The Spurs bench started things off strong against the Lakers to begin the second quarter, taking the lead back with ease. The Lakers came back from a timeout and immediately got some momentum to tie the game four minutes into the second. Dwight Howard continued his strong play early by getting four points and five rebounds in his first five minutes.
The Lakers closed out the first half with a lineup of James, Davis, Kuzma, Caldwell-Pope, and Avery Bradley — a lineup that took over on both ends and gave them a 56-43 lead heading into the break, capped off by a 40-footer from Kuzma.
The Lakers picked up right where they left off to start the second half, going on a 10-4 run to start that gave them a 19-point lead before a Spurs timeout.
DeMar DeRozan and the Spurs formed a strong comeback, cutting the Laker lead to single digits halfway through the third. And at the end of the third quarter, the Spurs found themselves down by just five.
James got his 10th rebound early in the final quarter, giving himself a triple-double in back-to-back games.
The Spurs ramped up their defensive effort and cut the lead to two with just about six minutes left. Dejounte Murray went on an absolute tear, scoring 14 straight points to tie the game at 90 with 3:48 to go. Caldwell-Pope immediately responded with five straight points of his own.
Avery Bradley was ruled out midway through the fourth due to a lower leg injury.
After the Caldwell-Pope jumpers, the Lakers regained control of the game with the help of some incredible offensive and defensive plays by Howard and the Lakers survived.