Spurs Stomp on Lakers in San Antonio

Kawhi Leonard scored 23 points in the first half and the Spurs led by 18 at the break

Kawhi Leonard scored 23 points, Pau Gasol had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and that was just by halftime. The San Antonio Spurs scored a season-high 72 points in the first 24 minutes of Thursday night's game in San Antonio, and the Los Angeles Lakers trailed by 18 points despite Julius Randle scoring 17 points before the break.

Predictably, the Lakers didn't get back into the game. Spotting the second best team in the NBA 12 points after the first quarter and 18 points by halftime is a recipe for a lopsided loss. In the third quarter, Leonard and the Spurs continued to score at will and finished the quarter leading by 31 points.

At one point, Gasol even ran down the middle of the lane and slammed home an emphatic dunk over Lakers forward Thomas Robinson. That dunk counted as Gasol's ninth field goal, as the former Lakers' center had made all nine of his shots against his former team. Gasol grabbed a seat after that dunk, leaving the game with 22 points to go along with nine rebounds and six assists in ony 26 minutes on the court.

Leonard also played no part of the fourth quarter and finished with 31 points on 10-13 shooting in only 26 minutes of play.

After Gasol's slam dunk, Lakers coach Luke Walton decided to empty his bench and bring in Marcelo Huertas and Ivica Zubac, both of whom have rarely found playing time this season. Zubac, who is a 19-year-old rookie center, added a little life to the game with his inventive converted hook shot immediately after joining the action, but the final 15 minutes of the game may as well have been a practice session.

The result of the game had long been decided before the start of the fourth quarter. When the buzzer mercifully sounded to signal 48 completed minutes, the Spurs won by a final count of 134-94, which also counted as the most points the Spurs had scored all season.

The Spurs improved to 31-8 on the season, while the Lakers dropped to 15-28. 

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