LeBron James scored 19 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter while hitting five 3-pointers in an incredible three-minute span, propelling the Los Angeles Lakers to a 129-102 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.
James added nine assists and seven rebounds, and he hit five of his six 3s in that decisive barrage. Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma had 18 points apiece as the Lakers beat San Antonio for the third time this season, sweeping the season series.
After the Spurs chipped into the Lakers' big lead late in the third quarter, James and Kuzma put the game away with a combined seven 3-pointers in 3 1/2 minutes to start the fourth. James' final 3 was a beauty while absorbing contact, earning him a standing ovation from the Staples Center crowd.
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Kuzma, the subject of numerous trade rumors with the deadline approaching, added 12 rebounds in one of his most impressive recent performances.
DeMar DeRozan had 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in his hometown for the Spurs, who have lost five of seven.
San Antonio was outrebounded 58-28 by the bigger Lakers. The Spurs grabbed only three rebounds in the fourth quarter while the Lakers went 16 of 24 from the field.
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Bryn Forbes added 13 points, but one night after the Spurs blew a late lead in a three-point loss to the Clippers, they returned to Staples Center and fell to 0-2 at the start of San Antonio's eight-game road trip while a rodeo occupies AT&T Center.
The Lakers returned to a semblance of normalcy at Staples Center in their first home game since their emotionally charged return last Friday for their first game following Kobe Bryant's death.
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Bryant's two retired jerseys still remain isolated in a spotlight on the wall high above the court, and the Lakers crowd broke into a spontaneous chant of “Kobe! Kobe!” in the third quarter, and the chant returned in the final seconds of the game.
Spurs: They don't return home until Feb. 26. ... Dejounte Murray scored 12 points.
Lakers: JaVale McGee had 14 points. ... Dwight Howard had 12 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 5 for 5 in another strong all-around performance.
THINKING OF KOBE
Before the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich gave a stirring answer to a question about Bryant's place in the game. The U.S. Olympic team assistant coach said Bryant “was special to all of us in different ways. ... He was like a superhero who was actually human. There aren’t any superheroes that are really human, but we kind of thought of him as one of those kind of people, and so being such a shock.
"When somebody’s sick for a long time and you expect it, you deal with that. But when somebody is taken the way that he and his daughter and all the other people were taken, that makes it a tragedy and more painful in some ways.”
Spurs: Visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.
Lakers: Host the Houston Rockets on Thursday.