San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 13th 2023

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The Los Angeles Lakers will look to get back on the winning track when they travel to play the hapless San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in the first of two games between the teams in three nights in the Alamo City.

The Lakers travel south for the second game of a road back-to-back after taking a 127-125 loss at Dallas on Tuesday that snapped their season-best, four-game winning streak. Included in that winning stretch was the championship game of the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament, not a regular-season contest, but that success didn’t carry over to Tuesday.

Anthony Davis led Los Angeles with 37 points and 11 rebounds against the Mavericks, while LeBron James finished with 33 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Austin Reaves added 22 points off the bench, and Taurean Prince tallied 15.

The Lakers outshot Dallas 53.8 percent to 49.4 percent, outrebounded the hosts 40-36 and made 15 of their 29 3-point attempts. However, they made just 12 of 18 free-throw attempts.

Dallas hit 18 of 21 free throws to make up the difference in field-goal shooting.

“I’m disappointed that we didn’t get the win, but the way we fought is encouraging,” Los Angeles coach Darvin Ham said. “I’m really encouraged at the way we fought throughout the entire game to give ourselves a chance.”

The Lakers trailed by 15 points in the third quarter before flipping the switch and taking a two-point advantage into the fourth period. However, Dallas surged back, took charge for good in the middle of the final quarter and held on.

The past five games between the Lakers and Dallas were decided by a total of 13 points.

The Spurs head into the two-game set with Los Angeles carrying a 17-game losing streak, the longest in franchise history. San Antonio’s most recent setback was a 93-82 loss at Houston on Monday in which rookie Victor Wembanyama led the team with 15 points and 18 rebounds.

Devin Vassell added 14 points for the Spurs, while Malaki Branham hit for 13, Keldon Johnson added 12 and Cedi Osman had 10 off the bench. San Antonio was held to a season low in total points, field-goal percentage (.356) 3-pointers made (five) and assists (20).

“It’s hard to know what to do when you’re missing that many shots,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “It just makes it very, very difficult. But they’re growing in all kinds of ways and I just wish they could catch a break that way as far as making some shots.”

Vassell and Johnson combined to go 1 of 18 from 3-point range on Monday as San Antonio shot a season-worst 12.2 percent (5 of 41) from beyond the arc.

“We got great looks, but we just couldn’t capitalize,” Johnson said. “It’s definitely frustrating. We’ve dropped a lot of games we should have won. It’s frustrating. We know that it will turn. We know that we put in the work for it. We believe in each other.”

San Antonio forced the Rockets into 16 turnovers in the loss but scored just four points off those takeaways.

The Spurs announced Tuesday that reserve center Charles Bassey will miss the rest of the season after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament on Sunday while on assignment with Austin of the G League.

–Field Level Media

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