On their seventh game of an eight-game trip, the Lakers seemingly found their legs. Too bad they started shaking in the second half.
Against the San Antonio Spurs, who are in second place in the Western Conference with a 19-5 record, the Lakers played very well in the first half, finishing down by only two points, 51-49.
Then the Spurs took control, eventually winning, 109-87, as the Lakers dropped to 3-20.
The Spurs used a 16-3 run to take a 17-point lead, 72-55, with 4 minutes and 43 seconds left in the third quarter after Kawhi Leonard made a jumper. The Lakers cut that deficit to eight points, 79-71, heading into the fourth quarter.
The final 12 minutes belonged to the Spurs, who pushed their lead to as much as 25 points.
D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers with a career-best 24 points, though it took him 23 shots to get them, six rebounds and six assists. Lou Williams had 19 points on seven-for-12 shooting. Kobe Bryant had 12 points, nine in the first quarter.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Patty Mills had 22 points on nine-for-11 shooting.
The Spurs were without Tony Parker, whom Coach Gregg Popovich decided to rest. The Lakers were playing without Jordan Clarkson (sprained right ankle).
Bryant received loud boos during the pregame introductions at AT&T Center, but in the final 30 seconds, the crowd chanted “Ko-be, Ko-be” to honor the retiring Lakers superstar.