NBA regular season

Wembanyama meets LeBron as Spurs top Lakers to end historic losing streak


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Wembanyama meets LeBron as Spurs top Lakers to end historic losing streak

SLAM. San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (1) dunks during the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers at Frost Bank Center.

Scott Wachter/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Devin Vassell and Victor Wembanyama show the way as the Spurs snap their franchise record 18-game losing streak

Devin Vassell scored a career-high 36 points to help lift San Antonio to a 129-115 win over the visiting, short-handed Los Angeles Lakers that snapped the Spurs’ franchise record 18-game losing streak on Friday, December 15 (Saturday, December 16, Manila time).

It was the second of back-to-back games between the teams over three nights in the Alamo City. The Lakers won the first game in the set on Wednesday without LeBron James, who sat out with a left calf contusion. Los Angeles could not repeat that win on Friday with James in the lineup but without three starters – Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell, and Cam Reddish – due to nagging injuries.

Instead it was Vassell that made the plays, while Keldon Johnson poured in 17 points (all of them in the first half), Zach Collins had 16, Cedi Osman scored 15, and Victor Wembanyama racked up 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs.

San Antonio won for the first time since November 2; the Lakers have dropped two of their past three games.

James led Los Angeles with 23 points and 14 assists. Austin Reaves added 22 points for the Lakers, with Rui Hachimura hitting for 20 and Christian Wood tallying 17 – both off the bench – and Taurean Prince contributing 12 points.

San Antonio started out the game on fire, sprinting to a 42-22 lead while shooting 64% from the floor and hitting six three-pointers in the first quarter. Vassell had 11 points in the period to help the Spurs to the huge advantage.

The Spurs pushed their lead to 25 points when Doug McDermott canned a three-pointer to make it 49-24 with 9:04 to play in the second quarter. James cut the deficit to 59-46 on a cutting dunk at the 3:53 mark. Los Angeles clawed to within 4 points before Johnson’s three-point play with 5.1 seconds left granted San Antonio a 69-62 lead at the break.

James scored 18 points before halftime to lead all scorers, while Johnson hit for his 17 to pace the Spurs.

San Antonio was up 88-72 after Vassell’s two free throws with 6:46 left in the third period. The Lakers pared their deficit to 6 points before San Antonio reeled off the period’s final five points to carry a 98-87 edge to the final quarter. –

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