The Los Angeles Lakers were coming off a 34-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, and Wednesday gave them a chance to avenge that drubbing.
The Lakers fought and scratched their way to eight lead changes and 14 ties, but predictably, they ran out of steam in the fourth quarter and fell again to the Spurs 125-109.
Tony Parker scored a game-high 25 points. Kawhi Leonard notched a double-double on 22 points and 10 rebounds, as did Tim Duncan with 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Xavier Henry led the Lakers with 24 points off the bench. Pau Gasol turned in another strong effort to finish on 22 points, 10 boards, six assists and four blocks.
L.A. turned in a strong first half and trailed just 58-57 behind 19 points from Henry. It was a one-possession deficit early in the fourth quarter before things unraveled on both sides of the ball. San Antonio won the fourth quarter 33-22 and opened a comfy lead down the stretch.
The Lakers were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention on the same night that Phil Jackson was introduced to the Madison Square Garden as president of the New York Knicks. The Lakers host the Washington Wizards on Friday.
The Spurs own a league-best 11-game winning streak and a two-game lead in the West. They now set their sights on the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena on Friday.
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