Spurs Beat Lakers, End Losing Streak

Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs

Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs blocks shot of Jaxon Hayes #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half at Frost Bank Center on December 15, 2023 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo: Ronald Cortes / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs have broken their losing streak, beating the Los Angeles Lakers at home on Friday night. The Spurs topped the Lakers 129 to 115. The Silver and Black had lost 18 straight games before getting back in the win column.

Devin Vassell lead the Spurs in scoring with 36 points. Keldon Johnson added 17 points and Zach Collins had 16 points. Cedi Osman scored 15 points and Victor Wembanyama finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists. Malaki Branham had 12 points and Jeremy Sochan had 11 points.

The Spurs are now 4 and 20 on the season. Their next game is on Sunday at home against the Pelicans. Tipoff is set for 2:30.


Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich:

(On if the team played close to a full 48 minutes…)

“Yeah, I’d say so. We’ve played 48 [minutes] before. If you don’t make shots in the fourth quarter, does that mean you didn’t play a full 48? It can mean different things. Tonight, we made shots, but overall I think the defense was pretty good. It’s been pretty good, improving significantly, but offensively we still have a way to go. Ithought they competed well. It’s tough to go up 20 against a team that’s run by LeBron [James] on that court since he knows how to manipulate everything and do what has to be done to win a game. So, we feel good about that. He’s a tough nut to crack.”  

(On Jeremy Sochan’s defense guarding LeBron James…)

“He gave everything he could. He did a good job guarding LeBron. He made him think about it, made him hesitate once in a while. You’re not going to stop the guy. He’s spectacular, but Jeremy took on the challenge.”

Spurs Guard Devin Vassell

(On what was working for him…)

“I think at the beginning, my three was falling. It didn’t really in the third quarter, and in the second quarter when it wasn’t, just getting to the basket. At the end of the day, I feel like I’m a scorer and not just a shooter, so at the end of the day I just kind of scored at all three levels. When threes aren’t falling into the cup, I just got to stay aggressive.”  

(On what the biggest lesson was from the losing streak …)

“To stay together. Don’t point fingers. At the end of the day, just look in the mirror and know you have to be better. This was a tough little stretch I went through shooting the ball, but I don’t think it was just shooting the ball. I think it was me being engaged, whether it’s getting steals, whether it’s rebounding, whether it’s whatever it is, I just wasn’t locked in. I take that on myself to be a leader. We got a really young team, and I feel like a lot of people look up to me as to be that leader on the team. So, I accept that and I'm just glad we were able to get a dub today.”

Spurs Forward Victor Wembanyama

(On if this game felt like a playoff game and his reaction at the end of the game…)

“Yes. It’s not like I forgot about the feeling. Of course, I never want to lose again, but it’s going to happen. We just have to enjoy these moments, because I’m addicted to winning. This is what I love and it’s what I live for, so I have to show it.”

(On what changed in this third quarter compared to previous ones …)

“I would say we had a normal third quarter for once. I’m glad that happened, and I think tonight was the night everybody was connected, and everybody was locked in and we all wanted it. We had a team dinner last night. We had some good team bonding, and now that we’ve got our eyes on the goal again, I’m sure that the spirit is going to be even better.”

Spurs Guard/Forward Keldon Johnson

(On securing a win after the losing streak…)

“Any win feels great, but yeah this feels good. I could get used to this feeling. It felt great. You want to know what really felt great to me? I saw Jermey play amazing defense tonight, [Victor Wembanyama] block shots, rebound, do what he does, but did y’all see Devin Vassell? We’ve got so many doubters, this and that. He had a couple of bad games, but like I say all the time, that's what he does. He put in the time for that. It feels good to see my teammates flourishing. That’s one of the best feelings.” 

(On the key to tonight’s win…)

“Defensively. That's what we got to hang our hats on to close out games and win big games. And tonight, we showed real flashes of close to 48 minutes of really, really good defense and we stuck together even when they made runs. That's a great team over there, and they made runs that made it tough, but we stayed together. Even when we couldn't hit shots, we stayed together locked in on defense.”

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