Spurs rally to keep Lakers winless with LeBron

first_imgLos Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (left) falls as San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan drives toward the basket during their game Monday, Oct. 22 in Los Angeles. AP LOS ANGELES – LeBron James hit the tying 3-pointer late in regulation. He led a Lakers lineup of three second-year pros and a rookie making his NBA debut to a 142-136 lead with 55 seconds left overtime.James was then reminded in spectacular fashion that nothing will be easy in this West Coast chapter of his career.Patty Mills hit a go-ahead jumper with 6.8 seconds left and the San Antonio Spurs kept the Lakers winless with LeBron, rallying from a 6-point deficit in the final minute of OT for a wild 143-142 victory Monday night.James tied it on a magisterial 3 with 2.4 seconds left in regulation, and he finished his second Lakers home game with 32 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds. But the superstar missed two free throws with 12.8 seconds to play before Mills coolly put the Spurs ahead. James then missed a step-back 3-pointer at the buzzer, thoroughly deflating Staples Center as the Lakers fell to the first 0-3 start in James’ career since his second season with Cleveland in 2004-05.After cooling down, LeBron did not seem discouraged by the Lakers’ last-minute failure against a quality opponent – and while Los Angeles was missing suspended starters Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram.“It’s not” discouraging, James said.“I know what I got myself into,” he added. “It’s a process. I get it, and we’ll be fine. I didn’t come here thinking we were going to be blazing, storming right out of the gate. It’s a process, and I understand that.”LaMarcus Aldridge had 37 points and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan added 32 points and 14 assists before Mills made the biggest shot. The Australian guard did it while playing Tony Parker’s traditional role on a familiar San Antonio play.“It’s always good when you make shots or make an impact,” Mills said. “Other than that shot, it was a team victory. It was a gutsy win. Everyone participated.”Kyle Kuzma had 37 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, and Josh Hart added 20 points and 10 rebounds.James’ dramatic 3 from a full step beyond the arc capped the Lakers’ improbable rally from an 8-point deficit in the final 1:04 of regulation. The Lakers then took a 142-136 lead late in overtime with huge contributions from unsung rookie big man Johnathan Williams, who played important minutes in his NBA debut after JaVale McGee fouled out.But the Lakers sputtered and the Spurs rallied. Rudy Gay’s 3-pointer cut the Lakers’ lead to 142-141, and James missed his free throws before the jumper by Mills, who had 12 points.“It’s always fun to play close games and have them be that type of atmosphere, and overly competitive,” Aldridge said. “It was nice to get a close win. It just builds character and makes guys be more confident.” (AP)last_img read more

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