LeBron James' 3-Point Barrage Leads Lakers to Easy Win vs. Spurs

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 5, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 4: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against the San Antonio Spurs on February 04, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. 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 2020 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

LeBron James knocked down five three-pointers in a 2:56 span en route to 36 points as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the visiting San Antonio Spurs 129-102 on Tuesday at Staples Center.

By the time James was done, a 87-77 Lakers lead expanded to 108-87, with this three from the wing capping it off:

James added nine assists and seven rebounds for the 38-11 Lakers, who won their second straight game. Kyle Kuzma contributed an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double, and Davis had 18 points as well.

DeMar DeRozan dominated for the 22-28 Spurs with 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. LaMarcus Aldridge went just 3-of-10 for seven points.

An ugly first quarter with 40 combined points gave way to a dominant Lakers second quarter in which L.A. outscored San Antonio 30-22 behind nine from James.

San Antonio was unable to cut its deficit to fewer than eight points for the remainder of the game.

                   

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Notable Performances

Spurs G/F DeMar DeRozan: 28 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists

Spurs SG Bryn Forbes: 13 points

Spurs F LaMarcus Aldridge: 7 points

Lakers G/F LeBron James: 36 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds

Lakers F Kyle Kuzma: 18 points, 12 rebounds

Lakers F/C Anthony Davis: 18 points, 5 rebounds

        

Lakers' All-Around Dominance Dominance Leads To Win

The Lakers' speed, size and shooting prowess were too much for San Antonio on Tuesday, with L.A. outscoring the Spurs 24-6 on fast-break opportunities and out-rebounding them 58-28 overall.

The speed and size came together on this fast-break chance, with Davis, James and JaVale McGee working in unison to set up the latter player's dunk:

The Lakers fared well when they tried to move the ball quickly, like when James found Davis for a Hail Mary pass that succeeded and ended up with an easy two from the Brow:

And stopping a 6'9", 250-pound forward on the move into the paint is rather hard, with another example occurring Tuesday following this James bucket: 

It's not easy to face a team that has a 6'9" point guard, a 6'11" big man with ball-handling skills and a pair of seven-foot centers in McGee and Dwight Howard who are waiting to finish any pass a teammates throws their way. That's why they entered Tuesday second in fast-break points per game, according to NBA.com.

The Lakers finished the evening second in rebounding differential, too, after their dominant performance on the glass. The problem for Lakers' opponents is that it's a total team effort, with eight players grabbing at least four on Tuesday.

It helps when it feels like everyone in the rotation is either tall, long or unafraid to crash the boards and do the little things to help the Lakers win every night.

The issue teams will encounter in the playoffs, however, is that the Lakers have been proficient from beyond the arc as well. 

L.A. shot 12-of-28 from three-point range, with a James barrage of fourth-quarter threes putting this game away in the fourth. 

The Lakers struggled from deep last year to the tune of finishing second-last in the league ahead of only the 19-63 Phoenix Suns, but this season has seen improvement to a respectable tie for 11th.

That makes the L.A. offense close to unstoppable. And if the Lakers go cold, they can simply get easy buckets in the paint, where they're second in points per game.

     

What's Next?

Both teams will play on Thursday.

The Spurs' annual rodeo road trip due to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo will continue at 10 p.m. ET against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. The Blazers game marked the third of eight straight road contests leading into the All-Star Break.

The Lakers will welcome the Houston Rockets to L.A. at 10:30 p.m.