Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook Lead Lakers Past Spurs Without LeBron James

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVOctober 27, 2021

SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 26: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket against the San Antonio Spurs on October 26, 2021 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers didn't need LeBron James to earn a 125-121 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs.

James was unavailable because of an ankle injury, but Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis picked up the slack with a combined 68 points in Tuesday's road game at the AT&T Center.

San Antonio led by 12 after the third quarter, but the Lakers stormed back with a 29-17 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Malik Monk came up big to put Los Angeles in front in the final minute:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

MALIK MONK FROM DEEP 🀯 <a href="https://t.co/FLZEkylyjd">pic.twitter.com/FLZEkylyjd</a>

Though Keita Bates-Diop sent the game into overtime, Westbrook came up big in the extra session for Los Angeles:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

RUSS THROWS IT DOWN 😀😀😀 <a href="https://t.co/xSlXdVChiw">pic.twitter.com/xSlXdVChiw</a>

It was enough to pull away for the team's second straight win to move to 2-2.

Dejounte Murray led the way for the Spurs with a triple-double, while Jakob Poeltl set a career high with 27 points, but it wasn't enough to prevent them from falling to 1-3 on the year.

Notable Performances

Anthony Davis, PF, LAL: 35 points, 17 rebounds, 4 blocks

Russell Westbrook, PG, LAL: 33 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists

Malik Monk, SG, LAL: 17 points, 3 assists

Dejounte Murray, PG, SAS: 21 points, 15 assists, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks

Jakob Poeltl, C, SAS: 27 points, 14 rebounds, 13-17 FG

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, SAS: 21 points, 6 assists

Russell Westbrook Shows His Value in Win

With James not on the court, Westbrook got his chance to shine for the Lakers.

Skip Bayless @RealSkipBayless

Russell Westbrook is having the time of his life tonight. Without LeBron, his dream has come true: The Lakers he grew up loving are now HIS team.

The nine-time All-Star has had a slow start to the season but looked the part Tuesday. Westbrook was aggressive offensively while scoring a season-high 33 points, and he contributed in a lot of ways:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Russ from downtown πŸ‘Œ<br><br>(πŸ“Ί: <a href="https://twitter.com/SpectrumSN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SpectrumSN</a>) <a href="https://t.co/mD0fZFFQo8">pic.twitter.com/mD0fZFFQo8</a>

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Felt this one back in LA πŸ’ͺ<br><br>(πŸ“Ί: <a href="https://twitter.com/SpectrumSN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SpectrumSN</a>) <a href="https://t.co/1aBUWIbltx">pic.twitter.com/1aBUWIbltx</a>

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Russ likes to share.<br>DJ likes to slam. <a href="https://t.co/BXpMEGp4Vh">pic.twitter.com/BXpMEGp4Vh</a>

Michael Pina @MichaelVPina

that was a pretty huge overtime from westbrook.

Westbrook had a solid connection with Davis in this one as well:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Fundamentals. <a href="https://t.co/4Pu58GCMdH">pic.twitter.com/4Pu58GCMdH</a>

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk

Anthony Davis has been so, so good β€” and everything the Lakers need him to be β€” to start this season.

The two stars did their part to keep the Lakers competitive without a lot of help around them.

Los Angeles finished 8-of-30 from three-point range while also struggling with turnovers and rebounding.

Westbrook and Davis still did enough to lead the team to a hard-fought victory.

Offensive Balance Makes Spurs a Threat

The Spurs don't have one go-to offensive weapon, but the team has a lot of ways to score.

Murray filled up the stat sheet with his fifth career triple-double, adding two blocks and two steals for an all-around dominant effort.

Zach LaVine @ZachLaVine

<a href="https://twitter.com/DejounteMurray?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DejounteMurray</a> u are acting out bro!

Poeltl then came through with the best night of his career:

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

DON'T HURT THE RIM JAK! 😀 <a href="https://t.co/BOt9B0owdm">pic.twitter.com/BOt9B0owdm</a>

Kyle Goon @kylegoon

Jakob Poeltl has never had more than 20 points in an NBA game. Tonight he's killing the Lakers in PNR, now up to 27 on 13 for 17 from the floor.

Devin Vassell and Lonnie Walker IV were also impressive Tuesday with their shooting off the bench in the second half:

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

HE'S HEATING UP Y'ALL πŸ”₯ <a href="https://twitter.com/lonniewalker_4?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@lonniewalker_4</a> with back-to-back-to-back THREE'S! <a href="https://t.co/ORHqDeDb7p">pic.twitter.com/ORHqDeDb7p</a>

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

GO OFF DEV!<br><br>πŸ”’ <a href="https://twitter.com/Yvngdevo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Yvngdevo</a> πŸ”’ <a href="https://t.co/SsGLk8BktP">pic.twitter.com/SsGLk8BktP</a>

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

D3VIN!!! <a href="https://t.co/uC3hQe5dKJ">pic.twitter.com/uC3hQe5dKJ</a>

The backcourt duo went a combined 10-of-16 from three-point range, while each finished at least plus-10 on the court.

When the shots weren't falling in the first half, the squad excelled at turning defense into offense:

Jeff McDonald @JMcDonald_SAEN

Spurs with seven points off turnovers in the 1Q. It's been a consistent part of their game so far this season.

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

One other first half issue for LAL: lack of transition defense. Spurs had 17 fast break points to LAL’s 12.

The Spurs finished the game with 29 fast-break points.

This is a team that doesn't scare most teams on paper, but it already has four different leading scorers in four games with several more players who can go off at any time.

What's Next?

The Lakers are back in action Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs will go on the road on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks.


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