LeBron James and the Lakers are 3-0 after losing 143'42 at home to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night. They are one of the four remaining winless teams in the league.
Both teams were unable to play in full strength, but that was not at the expense of the drama. (Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram missed the game because of their participation in saliva and arm launch activities against the Rockets at the weekend, and Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker were injured.)
A LeBron game, the three-point shot with 2.4 seconds back in the regulation brought the game in extra minutes, but a mid-putter from Patty Mills closed things before James could rattle a would-be player-winner off the edge. James also missed two free throws in extra time, where his 32 points were not enough. He was both the hero and an inappropriate being to Lakers fans the same night.
Here are 8 things to know about the victory closest to Los Angeles this season.
LeBron had one of the worst halves of his life and it did not matter much
James had all four points in the first half to 2: 8 and scored in the first half of the field offer. It was ugly, which is rarely described as something is described on a basketball court.
That was wiped away in the second half, where he scored 9 of 17 for 28 points, including a game in which three were tied together. Bad LeBron never lasts
2. LeBron's game-binding shot was SO clutch
In his second home game at the Staples Center, James slowly dripped the ticking clock onto the court. Everyone knew what would happen, including defender Rudy Gay, and no one could stop it.
James stopped in front of Gay's face and blew the biggest shot of his short career in L.A. as the Lakers crowd broke out. That's why he's one of the best that has ever done.
. 3 Someone named Johnathan Williams was huge for L.A.
The Lakers are not big enough to start, and JaVale McGee, who retired in 28 minutes, might have been the match. But Gonzaga's two-lane player Johnathan Williams, who is not known for shooting, came in with three of them. He was an unexpected key to L.A. remaining in this one, and he finished with 13 points in eight minutes and four rebounds
4. Gregg Popovich's last game was perfect
Having scored 11.2 seconds in overtime, Popovich DeMar used DeRozan as a decoy to win the game and it was totally unexpected. DeRozan threw the inbounds to LaMarcus Aldridge, and falsified received a surrender to drop the defense. This allowed Patty Mills to catch Lonzo Ball, who sleeps at the defensive end and pulls himself up for the game-winning jumper.
. 5 Patty Mills' game winner was made possible by LeBron's two free throws
James went on to extend the game by 12.8 seconds to improve his team by three points. That did not end well, as James both missed and she tasted the game.
. 6 James also missed the game-winner, and Lakers fans called for Kobe on Twitter
James stepped back into a long-two, which not only minutes after he missed the few free throws and lost the game.
The buzzing at the Staples Center was cut off completely, which meant it was time for Twitter to say that Kobe had done it.
Kobe would have made them free throws … ♂️
– Darius Slay (@ _bigplayslay23) October 23, 2018
Absolutely HATE the comparison game and the annoying GOAT convo, because everyone is different in his own way and way is great.
But this is the main difference between Bron and Kobe / Mike. You own this moment. Literally. pic.twitter.com/8EfJfdAQh8
– Ball does not stop (@balldontstop) October 23, 2018
Do not always compare LEBRON with KOBE. Period
– N8V (@justinLetive) October 23, 2018
Kobe Bryant would have done both.
– Dan Duangdao October 23, 2018
Kobe would have made them both. Good night.
– VanLathan (1945) October 23, 2018
7. DeMar DeRozan had a career-high in assists
DeRozan seems to take a step in an unknown offense in San Antonio. He matched LeBron's 32-14-8 stat line and his 14 assists a career best. The Spurs will have to play all season by their new star throughout the season to make the playoffs – especially with Murray getting out of the season after tearing his ACL.
. 8 Kyle Kuzma was the top scorer of the game
The fight for the Best Lakers Youth continued as Kuzma headed everything against the Spurs. He finished with a game-high 37 points on 15 of 25 shooting, including 4 out of 10 out of three. He was the additional scorer LeBron needed to stay here.
But it was not enough and now the Lakers are 0-3.