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Leonard inspires Spurs to thumping win over Lakers


(The Sports Xchange) – Kawhi Leonard poured in 31 points in just three quarters of play, and four of San Antonio’s starters scored in double figures as the Spurs demolished the Los Angeles Lakers 134-94 at the ATT Center on Thursday.

San Antonio’s total was a season-high, as were the 72 points scored by the Spurs in the first half and the 40-point margin of victory.

Pau Gasol added 22 points for San Antonio, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker added 13 each, all in just three quarters of the lopsided game.

The Spurs also got 12 points from Jonathon Simmons, 10 from Dejounte Murray and a game-high 12 rebounds from Dewayne Dedmon.

All 13 players who took the floor for San Antonio scored, and the Spurs (31-8) outshot Los Angeles 60.5 percent to 41.2 percent.

The Lakers (15-28) were led by Julius Randle’s 22 points, but the rest of their starters managed just 20 total points.

Reserves Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams added 14 and 10 points respectively as the Lakers lost to San Antonio for the ninth straight time.

The Spurs hit 14 of their 24 field-goal attempts in the first quarter on the way to a 36-24 lead after 12 minutes.

Leonard was 5-of-5 from the floor in the period (including all thee from three-point territory) and led all scorers with 14 points while staking San Antonio to a 36-19 lead before he went to the bench.

The Lakers took advantage to finish the period on a 5-0 run to cut the San Antonio advantage to 36-24 at quarter’s end.

A 7-0 run by Los Angeles capped by a steal and a dunk by Randle cut the Spurs’ lead to 45-41 at the 7:04 mark of the second quarter.

However, there was no panic from San Antonio, which promptly pushed its advantage back to eight points on layups by Parker and Leonard.

The Spurs outscored Los Angeles 23-13 over the rest of the quarter, including three free throws by Leonard after he was fouled by D’Angelo Russell attempting a shot from beyond half court with 0.3 seconds remaining.

The result was a 72-54 San Antonio lead at intermission.

San Antonio poured it on in the third quarter, pushing its lead to 106-75 on a Simmons running one-hander to beat the buzzer to end the period.

The Spurs were relentless inside — Gasol had six points in the quarter, including a thumping dunk — and out, as even Aldridge poured in a three-pointer.

The Spurs outshot Los Angeles 65 percent to 35 percent in the quarter, with 18 of their 34 points in the period coming in the paint. With the game all but decided, both teams played mostly reserves in the fourth.

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/sportsNews/~3/jBWbuOQLWsY/us-basketball-nba-sas-lal-idUSKBN14X0CT