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Anthony Davis left frustrated: Five takeaways from Lakers’ loss to Spurs

San Antonio's Dejounte Murray puts up a shot in front of Lakers forward Anthony Davis during the Lakers' loss on Thursday.
(Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

Anthony Davis took a seat on the Lakers’ bench for good with just over two minutes left in Thursday night’s game against San Antonio and his team down by 11 points, and he was seething.

When the game was over and the Lakers had dropped a 118-109 decision to the Spurs at Staples Center, Davis sat on the bench for several moments while his teammates filed to the locker room. When Davis got up, he knocked over a cart, his frustration visible.

What exactly brought this reaction from the usually mild-mannered Davis?

It was the Lakers’ lack of commitment to defense.

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“It was a lot of frustration,” Davis said on Zoom late Thursday night. “Frustration from our defense tonight, frustration from me missing two free throws so I just ... walked over and knocked a damn cart over. It was a combination of a lot of things.”

The Lakers’ four-game winning streak is snapped in a 118-109 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night at Staples Center.

Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ loss to the Spurs:

1. Davis was right. The Lakers were lax on defense from the start, giving up 34 points in the first quarter and 31 in the second.

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They never got a handle on Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge, a “stretch-five” who scored 28 points, his outside shooting causing the Lakers’ big men all sorts of problems.

The Lakers watched the Spurs settle into easy three-point shots, allowing them to make 45.7% (16 of 35) of them.

“That’s the first time we’ve seen it, but we messed up our coverages. We didn’t do what we’re supposed to do so we couldn’t even tell if our defensive scheme worked for a stretch five,” Davis said. “To start the game, we didn’t do what we’re supposed to do. They ended up getting two threes and I think a midrange jumper. So, we’ve got to be better with our defensive schemes coming out of the gate.”

2. Alex Caruso had missed five games with the Lakers while being in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

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Caruso reassured the media he had not tested positive for COVID-19. He was cleared to play Thursday night after going through contact tracing.

Caruso said some family members had stopped by his home for Christmas and soon after someone had tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Caruso said he didn’t want to take a chance of causing a problem for his teammates, so he was more than wiling to enter the league’s protocols just to be safe and responsible.

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“It was really poor and unfortunate timing,” Caruso said on Zoom after he scored eight points and made both of his three-pointers. “That was pretty much it. Going forward, you know, someone that I know that I’m close with that I trust, it was really unfortunate timing, kind of unlucky in a way.”

3. The Lakers shot 50% from the field and still lost. The Lakers were also good from three-point range, making 33.3% (10 of 30).

4. It was another solid night for Talen Horton-Tucker. The second-year player came off the bench and scored 10 points, collected four rebounds and handed out three assists in 21 minutes.

5. Well, at least the Lakers can say they were decent at taking care of the basketball. They had 13 turnovers. The Spurs, meanwhile, had just six turnovers.


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