Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 28 points in the loss, while Tony Parker led the Spurs with 19.
But it was an unlikely hero that allowed the Spurs to return to San Antonio with a 3-1 finish to their four-game road trip.
With just over nine seconds remaining, and the Spurs trailing 82-81, Kawhi Leonard found a curling Danny Green for a three-pointer from the right wing.
Lakers interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff was unable to design a play to get Kobe Bryant a touch out of the timeout. Metta World Peace inbounded to Pau Gasol in the left corner. Unable to find a passing lane to get the ball in Bryant's hands, Gasol forced an errant three-point attempt that clanged off the deep iron.
The Spurs improve their Western Conference leading record to 7-1, while the Lakers fall to 3-5.