The Lakers have no business being tied with the Blazers in the closing seconds in Portland, but things happen. Damian Lillard ensured the Blazers escaped with the 113-110 win anyway. It was a retro heroball look — no surprise, no movement, just a beautiful deep step-back to get the shot over Brandon Ingram, leaving just a sliver of time for the Lakers.
The other big story from this game: an oddly empty box score for Lonzo Ball on national TV. He finished with zero points on 0-of-2 shooting, with four assists and three rebounds in 28 minutes. Ball is going to have be able to cook a weak defender like Lillard if he’s going to put up numbers consistently in this league. There’s plenty of time to learn, though.
In the early game, the Spurs jumped out to a huge early lead before the Warriors fought back and ended up winning comfortably. San Antonio cannot qualify as being in Golden State’s head given the sweep in last year’s playoffs. But there’s something there — when Kawhi Leonardcomes back, the Spurs have a shot against the Warriors.
GSW 112, SAS 92
LAL 110, POR 113
Paul Flannery with a lovely piece on why the NBA needs Manu Ginobili every bit as much as the Spurs do.
The Starters invented some amazing new in-arena camera moments.