LeBron James scored 42 points, including 14 straight points for the Lakers in a pivotal stretch of the fourth quarter, coming from behind to beat the visiting Spurs 121-113 on Wednesday.
The game went back and forth through the fourth quarter and was tied at 104 before Lonzo Ball poured in a three-pointer to give Los Angeles a 107-104 lead with 2:36 to play.
Kyle Kuzma added a layup after a steal and a pass from James to push the advantage to five points before a Patty Mills three-pointer brought the Spurs back within 109-107.
With the Lakers up 112-109, James added a three-pointer and a layup on Los Angeles’ next two possessions, then a free throw with 20.8 seconds to play to close out the scoring and the victory for the Lakers.
James led all scorers in the first half with 13 points, with Kentavious aldwell-Pope adding nine points and six rebounds over the opening 24 minutes for the Lakers.
The teams square off again on Friday in San Antonio for the fourth and final time this season.
Los Angeles will be without forward Brandon Ingram after he suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter when he landed on an opponent’s foot.
Ingram left the game and did not return to the floor but X-rays taken at the arena showed that the ankle was not broken.
Will LeBron James play against San Antonio Spurs?
James is fit to play on Friday with Ingram being the only casualty from the previous game.
The 33-year-old has suffered some recent criticism regarding his performances but his back after inspiring the Lakers to victory over the Spurs.
“I’m past the [taking things] personal stage,” James said. “I can do whatever. I can have a huge workload, I can have a not so huge workload – it doesn’t matter for me.
“What’s most important is seeing my teammates make huge shots in the fourth quarter. That’s what’s most important to me.
“I can care less about the narrative about me. It doesn’t matter. I’m a staple in this game.”