LeBron James misses two late free throws as the LA Lakers lose again

LeBron James misses two late free throws as San Antonio Spurs clinch thrilling one-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers to ensure superstar’s winless run with new team continues

  • The San Antonio Spurs inflicted further misery on LeBron James in Los Angeles
  • A 143-142 defeat maintained his winless start with the Lakers on Monday night
  • James scored 32 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds but it was not enough
  • Patty Mills scored with 6.8 seconds left as the visitors claimed a thrilling win 

Greg Beacham, Associated Press

Patty Mills struck the decisive blow with 6.8 seconds left as the San Antonio Spurs ensured LeBron James maintained his winless start with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

The Spurs rallied from a six-point deficit in the final minute of overtime to claim a thrilling 143-142 victory at Staples Center.

James hit a three pointer to level things with 2.4 seconds left in regulation and finished with 32 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds. But the superstar missed two free throws with 12.8 seconds to play and missed a long shot at the buzzer to ensure Mills coolly won it for the visitors.

Patty Mills struck the decisive blow as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers

Patty Mills struck the decisive blow as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers

James missed two free throws with 12.8 seconds to play to ensure his winless run continued

James missed two free throws with 12.8 seconds to play to ensure his winless run continued

Monday night's loss at Staples Center was his third defeat in three matches with his new team 

Monday night’s loss at Staples Center was his third defeat in three matches with his new team 

LaMarcus Aldridge had 37 points and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan added 32 points and 14 assists as the Spurs made a tremendous rally to bounce back from a loss at Portland.

Kyle Kuzma had 37 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, who played without suspended starters Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo. Josh Hart added 20 points and 10 rebounds.

James’ dramatic three from a full step beyond the arc capped the Lakers’ improbable rally from an eight-point deficit in the final 1:04 of regulation. The Lakers then took a 142-136 lead late in overtime with a lineup matching James with three second-year pros and unsung rookie Johnathan Williams making his NBA debut.

But the Lakers sputtered and the Spurs rallied. Rudy Gay’s three-pointer cut the Lakers’ lead to 142-141, and James missed his free throws before Mills struck.

James finished with 32 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds but it did not prove good enough

James finished with 32 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds but it did not prove good enough

Rudy Gay's three-pointer cut the Lakers' lead to 142-141 before Mills struck the decisive blow

Rudy Gay’s three-pointer cut the Lakers’ lead to 142-141 before Mills struck the decisive blow

LaMarcus Aldridge (12), Gay (22), DeMar DeRozan (10) and Mills (8) celebrate their victory

LaMarcus Aldridge (12), Gay (22), DeMar DeRozan (10) and Mills (8) celebrate their victory

Ingram and Rondo began their suspensions stemming from their brawl with the Houston Rockets last Saturday. Ingram got a four-game ban for confronting an official and throwing punches, while Rondo got three games for punching and spitting on Chris Paul.

Kuzma and Ball were in the starting lineup in their teammates’ absence, and both second-year pros excelled.

The Spurs jumped on the Lakers early, hitting 14 of their first 17 shots and opening an 18-point lead.

James missed six of his first eight shots, but regained his game along with the rest of the Lakers, who trailed only 99-96 entering the fourth quarter. 


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