LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) – Keita Bates-Diop scored a record 30 points with all 11 shots, and the San Antonio Spurs defeated falling Los Angeles Lakers 138-110 Thursday night at the Staples Center final event, originally named 22 -year arena.
Derrick White scored 23 points and Lonnie Walker added 21 points in his third win on a four-game trip for Spurs, who scored 18 three-pointers, completing a two-game sweep of two NBA tenants in the arena in downtown Los Angeles.
Building changes name to Crypto.com Arena at Christmas in what is considered the richest naming convention in sports history. The cryptocurrency platform and exchange has been paying over $ 700 million over 20 years to make a name for itself in an arena that has hosted countless major sports and entertainment events since opening in 1999.
The last night under the old name was incredibly owned by Bates-Diop, a four-year NBA apprentice who averaged 3.8 points per game this season, up from the previous season’s record 10. He averaged 20 points in the second half and scored five three-pointers. during his perfect off-field play, often defending LeBron James across the field.
“I played the game, read the defense, moved,” Bates-Diop said. “I don’t think I dribbled that much. My teammates just found me. … (James) is a great player, but you have to guard him and just keep out of his sight. “
James had 36 points and nine rebounds, while Russell Westbrook had 30 points for Los Angeles, which lost four in a row for the first time this season amid the chaos in the COVID-19 lineup. The Lakers are playing without coach Frank Vogel and five players on NBA health and safety protocols, and they have been 0-4 since Anthony Davis injured his left knee in Minnesota last week.
“We don’t have chemistry with either lineup because of the simple fact that we haven’t recorded a single minute,” James said. “All our advocates are in health and safety protocols. … We don’t need a full lineup. We just need to get some of our guys back. ”
San Antonio took the lead early with a double-digit lead over the Lakers and comfortably won straight matches for the first time since December 4, despite the inadequacy of top scorer Dejunte Murray, who went 3 out of 16. Lakers reserves 69-20.
“Keita was ridiculous,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “Did a great job at both ends of the court. We could barely keep LeBron safe, but he tried his best. It was actually a team effort because I thought that some of the players (benches) outplayed the starters. “
Spurs: They also played in the Lakers’ final at The Forum on May 23, 1999. Tim Duncan scored 33 points when San Antonio completed a four-game sweep for Los Angeles in the second round of the postseason. Popovich was a coach in his third year. … Keldon Johnson scored 16 points.
Lakers: Interim head coach David Fizdale ran the bench for the second straight game. He said that Vogel sends him the observation list during his break from watching TV. Feasedale and assistant coach Phil Handy have received technical fouls for disputes with officials. … Davis watched from the bench in a blue tracksuit, missing his third game. The revaluation of the often injured star will not take place until the end of next month.
REMOVING ST Associated PressLES
Signs, billboards and countless small details have been altered in the arena to erase the name Staples Center, which has an illogical, yet undeniable, sentimental meaning for Los Angeles sports fans who have equated the stationery retailer’s name with the center. basketball universe for over two decades.
The Lakers recognized this affection and celebrated the name change with a pre-game video that highlighted the team’s greatest moments in their arena. The fans received a commemorative ticket and a gold jersey that mimics the first jersey donated by the team in the arena during the 2000 playoffs.
At half-time, former Lakers stars Robert Horrie, Metta Sandyford-Artest, Luke Walton, Byron Scott and Gary Payton stood around the Staples court logo with six franchise championship trophies earned in the building.
Los Angeles (16-17) is back below 0.500 for the first time since November 26. Dwight Howard retired to play 22 minutes as LA’s starting center, but the Lakers were still out of play for Avery Bradley, Kent Basemore. , Malik Monk, Austin Reeves and Trevor Arisa, who entered the protocols earlier in the day.
“There’s nothing you can do but find out,” Westbrook said. Find ways. Get the guys back in shape. We have a bunch of guys in the locker room who don’t give up and don’t give in to what’s going on. We have to turn the page and find a way to win the game. “
Spurs: Detroit will play on Sunday.
Lakers: host Brooklyn on Saturday.
More Associated Press NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/ Associated Press_Sports