Lakers stop Spurs for 3rd win in row


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For the Lakers, Brandon Ingram led the way with 26 points, shooting 52.4 percent while Lonzo Ball had 18 points on 63.6 percent shooting.

Ball also knocked down 4-for-7 from downtown in one of his better offensive performances of the season.

Saturday's matinee at American Airlines Center between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks will be the first proper National Basketball Association game between rookies Lonzo Ball and Dennis Smith Jr.

"Brook (Lopez) did a great job starting off with upside defense, [and] blocked shots", said forward Larry Nance Jr. After getting retaped, he returned to the game before being pulled from the contest. Bryn Forbes buried his first shot and scored on a layup after jumping in the passing lane to steal the ball from Lonzo Ball.

"That was a pathetic performance by our team, and a lot of the reason for it was the way the Lakers played", San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

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Granted we have heard little from management themselves, they would be hard-pressed to put this kind of information out to the public before they make sure all of their business is in order. "Nobody wants to. But our bosses tell us we have to, because of the ratings, because of the readership.' Somewhere - I guess (LaVar) is in Lithuania - LaVar Ball is laughing at all of us", Kerr added. They answered with a 15-3 run of their own to grab a two-point lead with just under four minutes to play.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points for the Spurs, who were without standout small forward Kawhi Leonard (shoulder) for the third straight game. They've now won three games in a row, including a surprising win over the admittedly shorthanded Spurs on Thursday night. Green missed his fifth consecutive game with a groin strain. He responded with a calculated takedown of LaVar in which he referred to the Ball family patriarch as "just another fan in the peanut gallery" and said his opinion is "meaningless".

"I think the first thing to look at is the substance and gravitas of the source that speaks", Popovich said, via ESPN's Michael C. Wright.

"He's starting to take advantage of his opportunities to play, and he's got good qualities", center Pau Gasol said. "Because we're not going to get for you talent-wise what we would want, so let's figure this thing out.' And we did".

The Lakers go on a three-game road trip, starting with the Dallas Mavericks on January 13 at 11:00 A.M. PST.

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