LeBron James' big shot not enough as Lakers skid to 0-3 start with OT collapse vs. Spurs

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Ryan Young
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LeBron James has hit a number of big shots in his NBA career.

It was only a matter of time before he hit one as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Down three points with the clock counting down against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night at the Staples Center, James calmly brought the ball up the court.

Instead of running a play or trying to find an open man, James pulled up from the edge of the Staples Center logo and drained the 3-point bucket, sending the game into overtime.

James’ 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run by the Lakers in the final minute to force the overtime period.

LeBron’s heroics not enough

That magic, though, turned out to be short-lived. Up by one in overtime with less than 15 seconds left, James missed a pair of crucial free throws.

Spurs guard Patty Mills then sank a jump shot over Lonzo Ball on the next play coming off a screen from LaMarcus Aldridge, putting them up by one with less than seven seconds left.

Spurs rallied from 6-point deficit in final minute

Mills’ shot capped a rally from a 142-136 deficit with 55 seconds left in overtime.

While James had one more shot at a game-winning bucket, it didn’t fall, giving the Spurs the 143-142 win.

James dropped 32 points and had 14 assists in the loss, though Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 37 points, shooting 15-of-25 from the field.

Aldridge led the Spurs with 37 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 59 percent from the field. DeMar DeRozan added 32 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds in the win.

Luke Walton lights up officials

Lakers coach Luke Walton lit into the officials after the game, knocking them for the the disparity that saw the Spurs shoot 38 free throws to their 26. With the Lakers off to an 0-3 start, the pressure is already mounting in L.A.

“Watch how Josh Hart plays this game,” Walton said. “He played 40 minutes tonight. All he does is attack the rim. Zero free throws tonight. Zero.

“I know they’re young. I get that. But if we’re going to play a certain way, let’s not reward people for flopping 30 feet from the hole on plays that have nothing to do with that possession. They’re just flopping to see if they can get a foul call. And then not reward players that are physically going to the basket and getting hit. It’s not right.”

James looking at bigger picture

James took a calmer approach in his postgame comments, while acknowledging his missed free throws.

“We’re gonna continue to get better,” James said. “I like the direction we’re going in. Obviously it’s not resulting in wins right now, but it’s such a long process.”

“We had our chances. We was up six with a minute to go, less than a minute to go. And just couldn’t get a stop.”

LeBron James drilled his first huge shot as a member of the Lakers on Monday night, sending the Lakers into overtime against the Spurs with a last-second 3-point bucket. (Getty Images)
LeBron James drilled his first huge shot as a member of the Lakers on Monday night, sending the Lakers into overtime against the Spurs with a last-second 3-point bucket. (Getty Images)

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