SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs rallied from down 12 in the fourth quarter to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 133-120, Friday night at the AT&T Center.
It was the fourth and final time for the Spurs and Lakers to meet in the regular season and for the Spurs, the final game of the series may just be the first game of a turnaround.
The Spurs won the season series 3-1. It was also a great way to start a six-game homestand.
"It felt great, we have been faced with a lot of adversity of late," said DeMar DeRozan.
Once again, DeRozan led the Spurs with 36 points and dished out nine assists.
Eleven of his 36 came in the fourth quarter. DeRozan even admitted this was a "must win" for the Spurs.
"Without a doubt, especially taking advantage of coming back home, our whole mindset is let's end this year off the best as we can," DeRozan said.
DeMar DeRozan postgame on #Spurs overcoming recent adversity, sticking together and Jakob Poeltl's big game, put back dunk vs #Lakers...'that's the highest I've seen him jump' DDR had 36 pts, 8 rebs, 9 asts as SA beats LA 133-120 #KSATsports #NBA pic.twitter.com/zeIrirO03J — RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) December 8, 2018
San Antonio ended the game as best as they could, not only because of DeRozan but also because of the bench.
Davis Bertans and Jakob Poeltl were on the floor in crunch time as the Spurs pulled a 23-point swing in the fourth quarter, the largest swing since 2005.
They started the quarter down 10 and won the game by 13.
"They hit a rhythm and we couldn't stop them," said LeBron James, who scored 35.
Bertans scored 13 points, including four 3-pointers, all in the fourth quarter.
"I was just waiting for my opportunities," Bertans said.
It was also an impressive performance for Poeltl. He was working the pick-and-roll to near perfection.
He scored 14 and pulled down eight rebounds. He even had a flying two-handed put-back dunk.
"Poeltl was setting really good screens, getting guys open for shots and when they didn't have shots, he was rolling to the rim and he was finishing and making his and-ones," James said.
LeBron James was asked postgame about the #Spurs shooting 33 FTs compared to the #Lakers 21 FTs and stayed dead silent...he later credited Bertans and Poeltl for a big 4Q, but wasn’t happy with officiating tonight #KSATsports #NBA pic.twitter.com/7TKDwg2eoT — RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) December 8, 2018
"It was one of those nights where we really clicked, with that second unit we had so much fun together out there playing, and I sure found my spots out there," Poeltl said.
"That group was playing well, so we left them out there," said Gregg Popovich, Spurs head coach.
One teammate who wasn't that surprised with Poeltl's play was his teammate in Toronto who came with him in the Kawhi Leonard trade, DeRozan.
"I know what he can do. I've seen him from the start developing. I've seen him working after practice, his growth, everything, so tonight is not a surprise to me at all," DeRozan said.
The Spurs improved to 12-14 and host Utah on Sunday.
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