LOS ANGELES (AP) – Patty Mills hit a go-ahead jumper with 6.8 seconds left and the San Antonio Spurs kept the Los Angeles Lakers winless with LeBron James, rallying from a six-point deficit in the final minute of overtime for a wild 143-142 victory Monday night.
James hit a tying 3-pointer 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 Mills coolly put the Spurs ahead.
James missed a long shot at the buzzer, thoroughly deflating Staples Center.
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 3 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 in his NBA debut.
But the Lakers sputtered and the Spurs rallied. Rudy Gay’s 3-pointer cut the Lakers’ lead to 142-141, and James missed his free throws before the jumper by Mills, who had 12 points.
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.
Spurs: Dante Cunningham had three points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes as a starter. Jakob Poeltl, who started the first two games, didn’t play. … Marco Belinelli scored 15 points in a reserve role for the Spurs, and Rudy Gay had 16 points.
Lakers: Svi Mykhailiuk and Williams made their NBA debuts in the shortened rotation. Mykhailiuk, the Ukrainian rookie out of Kansas, went scoreless in 17 minutes. Williams dunked on a pass from Mykhailiuk for his first basket, and he finished with eight points. … Before the game, LA assigned German rookie Isaac Bonga to their G League affiliate. … Celebrities at the game included Natalie Portman; Geri Halliwell and her husband, Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner; boxing champions Terence Crawford and Floyd Mayweather; and Los Angeles Rams Todd Gurley, Ndamukong Suh and Nickell Robey-Coleman.
Spurs: Host Indiana on Wednesday.
Lakers: At Phoenix on Wednesday.
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