I must break you.
The San Antonio Spurs scored 44 points in the fourth quarter, as they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 133-120, in their fourth and final installment of the season on Friday night at AT&T Center.
DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 36 points and added nine assists, as he led San Antonio down the stretch scoring 11 points in the fourth, helping them take the season series from the Lakers, three games to one.
"We didn't do a good job staying in front of ballhandlers in the pick and roll," said Kyle Kuzma who had 27 points and eight rebounds. "DeMar DeRozan was able to get smaller defenders on him, made incredible shots, tough fadeaways, he's an incredible player and he's going to do that time to time."
LeBron James had 35 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds in defeat.
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"They hit a rhythm and we couldn’t stop them," said James matter of factly from a chair in the visiting hallway after his locker was devastated by rain and a leak in the ceiling during the game. "They started running a lot of screen and rolls, and setting really good screens and they were hitting shots or rolling to the basket and making and-ones."
The Lakers led by as many as 15 points in the first half, and 12 in the fourth quarter, but their spirit was broken down the stretch as San Antonio caught fire from beyond the arc, and the LA defense seemingly didn't have an answer.
"Give San Antonio a lot of credit," added Lakers head coach Luke Walton. "They played well. They made shots, they made plays. I thought we played well enough to win that game for three quarters, and then they just took over in that fourth."
San Antonio's bench led the charge as they outscored the Lakers 54-26. Eight different players scored in double-figures for the Spurs, including four different players off the bench.
Patty Mills and Jakob Poeltl each had 14 off the bench, Davis Bertans had 13 points including four three-pointers, and Marco Belinelli had 13 points and three three-pointers.
The Lakers appeared to be on the precipice of evening the season series with San Antonio after scoring 72 points at the half, the second most they've scored all season, and the most points allowed in a half by the Spurs this year.
LeBron James nearly had a triple-double at the break with 24 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds, but he was mostly held in check in the second half.
Lonzo Ball had 13 points and 11 assists, and JaVale McGee had 12 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
"We broke down in the fourth and we let one slip away tonight," said Ball after the loss. "We couldn't guard the pick and roll, that's what it came down to."
James and Ball became the first Lakers duo to each have 10+ assists since Kobe Bryant and Paul Gasol did it on March 30, 2013 against the Sacramento Kings.
"You can pass the ball all you want, but if your teammates don't score, you don't get the assists," said Ball of the accomplishment. "Guys were running the lanes and hitting their shots, that's how we got to those numbers."
Things only will get tougher for the Lakers as they have to face the tough Memphis Grizzlies tomorrow night on the second of a back-to-back.
"We got another one to play tomorrow against a very good Memphis team," said James. "We let this one get away from us, but it's a 48-minute game and it happens. We need to learn from it and get ready to go [tomorrow]."
Lakers: James was listed as rookie in the game notes. . Rajon Rondo missed his 10th straight game following right hand surgery, but is nearing a return. Rondo worked out on the court prior to the game with teammates Isaac Bonga, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Ivica Zubac.
Spurs: Belinelli became the first player in league history with at least 50 3-pointers for nine different teams. . Pau Gasol, who missed his 17th straight game with left foot soreness, was walking without a boot. There is not timetable for his return. . Bertans has made 200 career 3-pointers.
Lakers: At Memphis on Saturday night.
Spurs: Host Utah on Sunday night.
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