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Lakers face Spurs, look to rebound from misstep

Lakers face Spurs, look to rebound from misstep thumbnail
The Los Angeles Lakers will look to get back on track Friday night when they play the rubber match of their three-game season series against the visiting San Antonio Spurs.The Lakers, minus LeBron

The Los Angeles Lakers will look to get back on track Friday night when they play the rubber match of their three-game season series against the visiting San Antonio Spurs.

The Lakers, minus LeBron James (sore ankle), will head home after a 128-110 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday in San Francisco. Los Angeles played its second consecutive contest without James and had a three-game winning streak snapped. Los Angeles has won six of its past eight games to get back into the postseason conversation.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 27 points and 15 rebounds in Thursday’s loss, with D’Angelo Russell adding 18 points, Austin Reaves 16 and Taurean Prince 12. The game was decided from beyond the arc as Los Angeles was outscored by 18 points on 3-pointers.

The Lakers know the formula to win — it’s just a matter of getting healthy and accentuating the positives.

“It’s not much rocket science behind it. It’s just if we have to, we’ll go back and watch the games where we played well and just replicate that,” Reaves said. “You can’t control always making shots or missing shots and all that, but you can control effort and playing the right way. You can definitely look back and see the position that we were in last year and how we finished the season, carrying that momentum into the playoffs.”

Lakers coach Darvin Ham addressed James’ availability against the Spurs following Thursday’s game.

“We’ll get an official word (Friday) morning and see, but in all likelihood, he should be out there (Friday night),” Ham said.

The Spurs will travel south after a 127-122 loss in Sacramento on Thursday. Devin Vassell scored 32 points to lead six San Antonio players in double-figure scoring while rookie Victor Wembanyama added 19 points and 13 rebounds. Keldon Johnson scored 18 points off the bench and Jeremy Sochan contributed 16.

San Antonio trailed by as many as 11 points in the third quarter and by nine with 10:18 remaining in the fourth before roaring back to take the lead on a Wembanyama three-point play with 2:53 left. The Spurs went up by four after a 3-pointer by Vassell on the ensuing possession before Sacramento closed the win with an 11-2 run.

“We made mistakes; they made mistakes,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “We are not a good shooting team and we make a lot of young mistakes. But (my team) plays its ass off, and to be able to get it to where it was there within two minutes to go. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The Spurs have lost two straight games and nine of their past 10, falling to 1-5 on the first six contests of their nine-game annual Rodeo Road Trip.

San Antonio and Los Angeles split their first two contests this season, with both games played in San Antonio. The Lakers recorded a 122-119 win on Dec. 13 before the Spurs bounced back two nights later for a 129-112 victory that snapped a franchise-record 18-game losing streak.