Spurs’ Johnson: ‘Whoever is put in front of me, I go at them and give them everything I got’

Two straight games against the world-champion Lakers and two consecutive losses for the Spurs, but the game on Friday night was much closer. Behind Anthony Davis’ season-high 34 points and 11 rebounds and LeBron James, who recorded a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, the Lakers defeated San Antonio 109-103 at AT&T Center. After starting 2-0, the Spurs have now lost three straight.

The Lakers(4-2) defeated the Spurs(2-3) in San Antonio on Wednesday night 121-107. Coming into Friday’s action, San Antonio was again without LaMarcus Aldridge for the second game in a row due to a knee injury. 

In Friday’s game, the Spurs entered the fourth quarter up by four against the Lakers, but they were outscored by 10 in the final period, and the Lakers finished the game with a 9-0 run. There are no moral victories at this level, but according to Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, although the team lost, these types of games are good for the young Spurs.

“First seven out of ten games to start out are against playoffs teams,” Popovich said after the game. “We’re going to be on the road here for about nine or ten days. so It’s a tough start for those young guys; they’ll benefit from it in the long run.”

The young guys stepped up in a losing effort for San Antonio against the Lakers, including Keldon Johnson, who had a career-high 26 points against Los Angeles. 

“Whoever is put in front of me, I go at them and give them everything I got,” Johnson said. “That’s why I work hard in the offseason on my game. I put it into use when I go play. I just go out there and compete.”

DeMar DeRozan, who chipped in with 23 points against the Lakers, thinks the Spurs can build off what they did against Los Angeles on Friday night.

“We made a lot of things tough on the Lakers tonight,” DeRozan said. “Overall, just continue to build from that. We played the champs at a high level.”

Friday’s game also saw the return of Derrick White. The fourth-year guard made his season debut after recovering from toe surgery on his left foot in the offseason. He also signed a reported four-year, $ 73 million extension with the Spurs in December. White, who is on a minutes restriction, scored nine points in 23 minutes on Friday night.

The Lakers are world-champions for a reason, and beating them was not going to be easy, especially without Aldridge. San Antonio hosts another playoff team in the Utah Jazz on Sunday, and after Utah, they begin a five-game road trip, so it’s important they get that game against Utah before they head out on the road.

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