Anthony Davis leads Lakers past Spurs for 3rd straight win

Nov 20, 2022, 6:51 AM | Updated: 9:40 pm
Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, left, shoots under pressure from San Antonio Spurs forwar...

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, left, shoots under pressure from San Antonio Spurs forward Gorgui Dieng during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

              Los Angeles Lakers center Thomas Bryant, right, shoots against San Antonio Spurs forward Isaiah Roby during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
            
              Los Angeles Lakers guard Troy Brown Jr., left, shoots under pressure from San Antonio Spurs forward Gorgui Dieng during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
            
              Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder, left, goes to basket against San Antonio Spurs forward Isaiah Roby during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
            
              Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) falls into the front row of spectators during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
            
              Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, left, shoots under pressure from San Antonio Spurs forward Gorgui Dieng during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis had 30 points and 18 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs 123-92 Sunday night to win three straight games for the first time since the first week of January.

While LeBron James missed his fourth straight game with a left adductor strain, Davis came through with yet another prolific performance in his fellow superstar’s absence, producing three straight 30-point games for the first time since March 2020. Austin Reaves also scored 17 of his season-high 21 points in the first half before the Lakers cruised to a victory that boosted the Pacific Division’s worst record to 5-10.

“Everybody’s confidence is very high, while not getting too high,” Davis said. “Feels good to get three in a row. Now we’ve just got to carry it over to the road. Got to put some more wins together.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich missed the game with an illness after feeling unwell shortly before tipoff. Assistant Brett Brown ran San Antonio’s sideline in the absence of the 73-year-old Popovich, the winningest coach in NBA history and the Spurs’ bench boss since 1996.

“When something like that happens, you’re concerned,” Brown said. “But the doctors have checked him out. I was just with him, and as we speak, he is fine.”

Brown said he learned Popovich wouldn’t be coaching “as I was walking out on the court … 20 seconds before the game was going to begin.” Popovich stayed at the arena during the game, which was San Antonio’s fifth game on the road in seven nights.

“It’s always a human thing,” Brown said. “He’s a dear friend of mine. We’ve been with each other, known each other for a quarter of a century. That’s not a short period of time, and so my immediate reaction is, ‘How is he?’ He has such amazing endurance, and he’s such an amazing competitor, when something like that happens, you’re concerned.”

Devin Vassell scored 17 points for the Spurs, who have lost five straight and 10 of 11. Gorgui Dieng added seven points and seven rebounds while starting in place of injured Jakob Poeltl.

Lonnie Walker scored 14 points against his former team for the Lakers, but Los Angeles is being led by Davis, the oft-injured big man whose arrival led directly to the franchise’s 17th championship in 2020. He had missed about half of the Lakers’ games since raising the trophy, but he has capitalized on a stretch of good health to lead Los Angeles back from its miserable start to the season.

“AD, he has to be the focal point,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “He has to spearhead the charge. That’s the way we’re built. He’s embraced it. When Bron gets back, if AD can sustain that level, we’re going to be as good as our preparation makes us.”

James hasn’t played since injuring his groin Nov. 9 against the Clippers. Ham said they’re being deliberately cautious with the return of the 20-year veteran, feeling time is on their side.

TIP-INS

Spurs: Poeltl sat out with soreness in his right knee. The Utah product had been the only player to appear in every Spurs game this season. … Popovich’s 1,350 regular-season victories are the most in NBA history.

Lakers: Russell Westbrook had 10 points and 10 assists, but left the arena with a wrap on his right thumb. X-rays revealed no fractures, and he will be re-evaluated Monday. … Juan Toscano-Anderson missed his second straight game with back soreness. … Walker spent his first four NBA seasons with the Spurs, who picked him 18th overall in 2018.

UP NEXT

Spurs: Host New Orleans on Wednesday.

Lakers: At Phoenix on Tuesday.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, right, drives to the rim as Atlanta Hawks forward Onyeka Okongw...
Associated Press

Nuggets beat Hawks 128-108, tie Boston for NBA’s best record

DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray scored a season-high 41 points, Nikola Jokic had his 18th triple-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets won their third straight game, beating the Atlanta Hawks 128-108 on Saturday night. Jokic finished with 14 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists and recorded the 94th regular-season triple-double of his career. […]
24 hours ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) drives to the basket against Golden State Warriors gu...
Associated Press

Curry injures left leg leading Warriors over Mavs 119-113

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry went down and the Golden Warriors once again had to fight like crazy to close out a game. Curry had 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds before injuring his left leg defending a drive late in the third quarter, and the defending NBA champions defeated Dallas 119-113 on […]
24 hours ago
Fedor Emelianenko, rights, listens to interpreter Georgiy Litvinov during an interview in Los Angel...
Associated Press

Fedor Emelianenko loses to Bader in Russian star’s last bout

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Fedor Emelianenko placed his gloves on the canvas and then cracked a warm smile while nearly a dozen mixed martial arts greats behind him led the crowd in one last ovation. Although the Last Emperor says his career is over, his fans and fellow fighters won’t forget his greatness any time […]
24 hours ago
Miami Heat's Dewayne Dedmon (21) looks to shoot against Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo duri...
Associated Press

Antetokounmpo has triple-double; Bucks win 7th straight

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had a triple-double with 35 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the short-handed Miami Heat 123-115 on Saturday night for their seventh straight victory. “You kind of know what to expect from the Miami team,” Antetokounmpo said. “We’ve played them so many times. I’ve played […]
24 hours ago
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots in front of Houston Rockets forward ...
Associated Press

Gilgeous-Alexander scores 42 as Thunder blow out Rockets

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder took what coach Mark Daigneault called a “bloodthirsty mentality” into Saturday’s rematch with the Houston Rockets. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 42 points to help the Thunder blow out Houston 153-121. They were disappointed in losing at Houston on Wednesday and responded by setting an Oklahoma City record for […]
24 hours ago
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, left, disputes a penalty called against him during the first half ...
Associated Press

Zach LaVine scores 36 as Bulls beat Trail Blazers 129-121

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls tried all sorts of defensive coverages on Damian Lillard. He kept scoring anyway. Just not enough to hold down Zach LaVine and company. LaVine scored 36 points, DeMar DeRozan had 27 and the Bulls topped Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers 129-121 on Saturday night. Nikola Vucevic added 23 […]
24 hours ago
Anthony Davis leads Lakers past Spurs for 3rd straight win