SAN ANTONIO — For the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, the regular-season finale was not at all indicative of how the first 81 games went.
Eliminated from playoff contention more than a month ago, the Lakers ended their season by beating San Antonio 113-100 at the AT&T Center on Wednesday night.
Los Angeles (27-55) won consecutive contests for the first time in three weeks. The Lakers finished the season with the fewest wins in franchise history since 1959-60 — the season before the team moved from Minnesota to Los Angeles.
The Spurs, who clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs last week, had a chance to tie a franchise record with its 63rd regular season victory. However, they placed a higher priority on keeping players’ legs fresh and staying healthy going into the playoffs for the 17th straight year — by far the longest such current streak in the NBA.
A season-high eight players scored in double figures for the Lakers, with forward Jordan Hill leading the way, scoring 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting. The Lakers started the game on a 12-4 run, as the Spurs missed nine of their first 11 shots from the floor.
The Spurs (62-20) erased what was once a 13-point Lakers lead in the second quarter and briefly led after a layup from guard Manu Ginboli that capped a 15-3 run. The Lakers quickly regained control, though, scoring the first six points of the third quarter after going into halftime tied at 51. Los Angeles never trailed in the second half.
The win kept the Lakers from being swept by the Spurs in the regular season for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign, when the Spurs won the third of four championships under coach Gregg Popovich. They will face the loser of Wednesday night’s game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. The Spurs swept four-game season series against both Dallas and Memphis.
All 13 players who were available for the Spurs played at least 10 minutes, topped by center Tiago Splitter’s 26 minutes. Splitter scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while forward Kawhi Leonard scored a team-high 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
NOTES: Spurs F Boris Diaw turned 32 on Wednesday. … Spurs F/C Tim Duncan (rest) and G Marco Belinelli (rest) both sat out Wednesday. … Regardless of its first-round opponent, San Antonio will open the playoffs Sunday. … San Antonio used its 30th different starting lineup Wednesday, the second most in the NBA, behind only the Lakers (35). … The Lakers scored 33 points in the first quarter, three shy of their season high (36 at Cleveland on Feb. 5). … The Lakers are 15-14 this year when they lead or are tied after one quarter, while the Spurs are 19-11 when trailing after the first quarter. … The Spurs lost for the first time this season when C Tiago Splitter scored at least 10 points. San Antonio is now 24-1 when he scores in double figures and 33-1 when he scores at least seven points.
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