Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Spurs – Game 49

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (23-26) | San Antonio Spurs (14-34)


Anthony Davis returned for the first time in over five weeks, while Rui Hachimura made his debut. With the additional help, the Lake Show defeated the San Antonio Spurs 113-104


Lakers vs Spurs
Photo Credit: Gina Ferrazzi/LA Times

Anthony Davis returned to the lineup vs. San Antonio five and a half weeks after suffering a fractured bone spur and stress reaction in his right foot. Davis was reportedly going to be on a minutes restriction. Rui Hachimura made his Lakers debut, and both came off the bench against the Spurs. It was the first time AD hadn’t been ruled out ahead of the game since he hurt his foot on Dec. 16.

Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves remained out and reportedly will be re-evaluated on Friday. All the while, LeBron James was ready to go, as he played on the second night of a back-to-back once again.

The Lakers went with the same starters against the Spurs with Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverley, Troy Brown, King James, and Thomas Bryant.

Pat Bev was feeling himself early as he stepped into an open three and drained it with confidence. It was a sight for sore eyes after he went 1-8 from the field last time out against the Clippers. Schroder had it going as well, as he diced up two Spurs defenders for a transition score.

Brown was left wide open from three and made San Antonio pay for it. However, the Spurs kept pace with the Lake Show and only trailed 13-11 with 7:29 left in the first quarter. Somehow, the Spurs had attempted twice as many shots as the Lakers, with the former at 6-12 (50%) and the latter at 4-6 (66.7%). LA also had trouble controlling the ball, as they had committed three turnovers, while San Antonio was spotless.

Darvin Ham’s first sub of the game wasn’t either of the two guys we all wanted to see, but it was Russell Westbrook, who can be explosive at any given moment but can also be very clumsy. Ham’s second sub still wasn’t any of the men of the hour, as Max Christie checked in. While Ham was playing around with the substitutions, the Spurs had jumped out to a 13-1 run to lead at 24-16 with 4:22 left to play.

Finally, Davis and Hachimura entered the game and received a standing ovation. However, the majority of it was more than likely aimed at AD’s return. Both Davis and Hachimura scored their first points at the free-throw line.

Zach Collins had a mismatch with Westbrook, switched onto him, and the former looked to make a move. However, Russ, being his unpredictable self, reached over and grabbed Collins with both arms, causing the big man to fall to the floor. Although Collins may have sold it a bit, Westbrook shouldn’t be doing that anyways. At the end of the first quarter, the score read Spurs 30, Lakers 25. LA struggled to hit shots, going just 6-18 as a team.

Davis seemed a bit rusty at first, but as the game went on, he began to get acclimated, as he scored back-to-back buckets, which included a three-pointer. Hachimura, on the other hand, had first-game jitters, as he started 0-3 from the field and 0-2 from beyond the arc. While the Lake Show was figuring their new setup out, Keita Bates-Diop got loose and made a wide-open three to give the Spurs a 10-point lead at 42-32 with 8:47 left in the first half.

Hachimura finally got it going with a slick 15-foot jumper, which was his first official field goal as a Laker. It’ll be interesting to see how his role evolves as the season goes on, though ideally, we’d want to see him lighten some of James’ load at the very least.


At halftime, the score read Spurs 54, Lakers 53. It wasn’t a great half, though they did find some positives near the end. Davis in his return had totaled 10 points so far, shedding off the rust and returning to his All-Star form.


Lakers vs Spurs
Photo Credit: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE/Getty Images

Heading into the second half, after a three-pointer from Brown, both teams found themselves deadlocked at 62-62 with 8:29 left in the third quarter. The Lake Show had outscored the Spurs so far at 9-8. Jeremy Sochan went right at Bryant, absorbed the contact, and scored the bucket. Beverley felt like Steph Curry. It seems like he’s had some of these games so far this season, as he scored back-to-back buckets that included a three. Pat Bev had 16 points on 3-5 from beyond the arc.

However, San Antonio had it going once more, as they pushed out to an 8-0 run to secure a four-point lead, forcing Ham to call a timeout. Sochan was somehow left wide open from the charity stripe, further increasing San Antonio’s run. Davis finally ended the drought with a score inside, which happened from the efforts of Schroder to force a turnover.

Collins started to become a problem, as he had a putback dunk for his sixth field goal out of nine tries, totaling 14 points. Collins wasn’t going to shut down AD, but he was still being a pest, forcing the brow to turn over the ball.

To end the third quarter, Davis went up for a half-court heave. However, Collins was in the area, and AD landed on his foot. It looked like Davis had sprained his right ankle, the same foot he had injured before, but the big man stayed in the game to finish out the third, with Collins being awarded a flagrant foul. The Lake Show was only behind by one point at 82-81.

Hachimura started the fourth quarter off right, as he walked into a three, his first as a Laker. Davis added to that with an offensive rebound and second-chance points. As AD facilitated another set of second chance points, the lineup of James, Davis, and Hachimura seem to be working nicely.

Despite that, AD was on a minute restriction, and he was past his limit. Ham made the right decision to sub him out for his watered-down version, Bryant. Davis had done his job, and James had sparked a flame as he splashed a three to take a 91-89 lead with 8:33 left in regulation.

With that three-pointer, King James passed Jamal Crawford for ninth place on the NBA’s all-time list of triples made. Next up? 8. Jason Terry – 2,282, 9. James – 2,222, 10. Crawford – 2,221, via Lakers PR.

Coming out of a timeout, the Lake Show made back-to-back triples from Schroder and Christie. James then hit Bryant inside for a slam dunk, and the Lake Show had a 10-point lead. Poor Gregg Popovich could’ve and should’ve called a timeout, as the Lakers had all of the momentum.

To everyone’s surprise, Ham redeployed Davis into the game. AD was already sitting at 21 minutes, though they did say 20-24 minutes for the All-Star. Davis showed everyone that the injury was behind him as he recorded his fourth block of the game, denying Collins with authority.

Davis would have another injury scare as he fell awkwardly. Ham was pushing his luck with keeping the brow out there. There was still enough time for one last run by the Spurs, as Keldon Johnson hit a three. But with less than a minute remaining, Beverley made a layup in transition, which was more than likely the dagger. With 45.8 seconds left, the Lake Show opted to foul the Spurs, making numerous substitutions, including taking Davis out. The final score read Lakers 113, Spurs 104.


Key Takeaways


Lakers vs Spurs
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Davis eased into the first few minutes, but then he took off and went for 21 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks. Davis told reporters after the game, “I feel great” after his first 26 minutes of action since Dec. 16. Ham told reporters that he expects AD to have a minutes restriction for about a week but said, “we’ll see how it goes.”

King James had an “off” game with 20 points (1-6 3PM), nine rebounds, and 11 assists. Pat Bev had a season-best game, finishing with 18 points and two steals. Hachimura was solid in his debut, with 12 points (4-7 FGs) and six rebounds. Westbrook contributed 14 points and four assists.

Johnson finished with 25 points (3-6 3PM) and five rebounds. Sochan totaled 14 points and seven rebounds. Bates-Diop had 11 points, seven rebounds, and two steals. Collins had 16 points, seven rebounds, and two steals off the bench. Malaki Branham also came off the bench and produced 11 points.

King James is now just 158 points from surpassing the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for No. 1 on the all-time scoring list.


The Lakers will now take on the Boston Celtics. They’ll face off on Saturday, January 28th, at 5:30 p.m. PT at the TD Garden. The game will be available on ABC, Alaska Rural Communications Service, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN2.

Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                Lakers vs Spurs                                                                                                                                                                                                                

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Jake on Twitter @jguchi_

Follow Jake on Instagram @jguchi_

Follow The Franchise on social media