Gameday at a glance
Spurs (28-14) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (13-27)
When, where: Thursday, 9:30 p.m., Los Angeles
Season series: First meeting
Spurs’ last game: Beat Kings 107-100, Monday, Sacramento
Lakers’ last game: Beat Kings 99-86, Tuesday, Los Angeles
Spurs’ last 10 games, streak: 6-4, won one
Lakers’ last 10 games, streak: 2-8, won two
Notable: Spurs Rudy Gay (right heel bursitis), Danny Green (tightness, left groin), Kawhi Leonard (left shoulder strain) and Tony Parker (sprained right ankle) are out for Thursday night’s game against the Lakers . . . The six three-pointers backup forward Davis Bertans scored in the victory against Sacramento on Monday night tied Manu Ginobili’s six threes against Portland on Sunday for the most shots made from beyond the arc by a Spurs player this season.
Spurs backup forward Davis Bertans is as quick on his feet during a media interview as he is with his release on a shot from the three-point line, where he was smoking hot in Monday night's 107-100 win over the Sacramento Kings.
A second-year pro out of Latvia, Bertans nailed 11 of 15 shots, including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc, and finished with a career-high 28 points in the second stop of a three-game West Coast trip for the Silver and Black.
Asked by Spurs TV broadcaster Bill Land how much fun he had playing against the Kings, Bertans replied: "When the ball goes in, it's always fun."
Thrust into the Spurs' rotation as injuries have continued to bedevil the team, Bertans has made the most of his opportunity to play more this season. He matched his season high with 31 minutes off the bench Monday night, and was aggressive throughout the game.
Bertans was especially effective in the fourth quarter, scoring nine points and nailing two shots from beyond the arc in a 40-second span to give San Antonio a 97-96 lead with 2:42 left.
Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge had his 17th double-double of the season, finishing with a game-high 31 points and 12 rebounds. He had 30 points and 14 boards in a 111-110 loss at Portland the previous night.
With starters Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker and backup Rudy Gay out with injuries, Bertans is expected to see considerable playing time again Thursday night when the Silver and Black cap their trip against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bertans has played in 38 of the Spurs' 42 games this season, averaging 5.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 12 minutes.
Spurs TV analyst Sean Elliott asked Bertans how he maintains his confidence when he doesn't know how much he's going to play from game to game.
"Well, try to get in the gym as much as I can, and get some shots off," Bertans said. "That's pretty much all I can do, and stay mentally ready, stay in the game, follow what everybody is doing on the court, be active on the bench, support that way and stay in the game like that."
Bertans' six three-pointers matched Manu Ginobili’s six threes against Portland on Sunday for the most shots made from beyond the arc by a Spur this season. Bertans also had three assists and two blocks.
"He's a wonderful shooter, but he also understands how to play," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters after Monday's game. "He really spreads the court for us. He was a big factor tonight."
With Aldridge and Bertans leading the way, the Silver and Black outscored the Kings 61-44 in the second half after trailing by 14 in the second quarter and 10 in the third.
Aldridge spoke highly of Bertans.
"That's what we need from him," Aldridge said. "When he shoots with confidence and he plays with a determination, he's a big-time player. When he's indecisive and he's trying to overthink it, that's when he's not as good as he can be. Today he played with confidence and took the shots that he had."
Bertans, 25, was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 12th pick in the second round of the 2011 NBA draft. The 42nd player taken, Bertans (6-foot-10, 210 pounds) was part of the draft-night trade that sent him and Leonard to San Antonio for George Hill.
Up next for the Spurs after Thursday's game: vs. Nuggets, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., AT&T Center
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