The Los Angeles Lakers survived an overtime thriller in Texas, beating the San Antonio Spurs 125-121 on Tuesday. The night’s highlights included a long 3-pointer from Malik Monk in the final minute of regulation with which he capped off his first start for L.A.
Monk featured in the starting lineup, replacing the injured LeBron James, who is dealing with ankle soreness. And besides Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, both registering their season highs in scoring, the 23-year-old guard emerged as the other Lakers’ hero of the night.
After L.A. bounced back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter, his deep three from way behind the line gave the Purple and Gold a two-point lead with just under a minute left on the clock. Despite Keita Bates-Diop tying the game again with a late layup, the Lakers dominated the Spurs in overtime and secured their second win in a row.
Monk ended the night with 17 points — and in good spirits. “I think every shot I shoot is going in,” he said.
“So super confident. Super confident, my teammates are confident in me too so that makes me even more confident. They just believe in me and we got great players. Everybody stepped up tonight and I was just able to knock that one down.
“I got unlimited range,” he added, laughing.
Monk revealed he got a heads-up about his would-be debut in the Lakers’ starting line-up on Tuesday morning. The guard said he “is always ready to step up” and that his mindset remains the same regardless of whether he comes off the bench or is deployed in the game from tip-off.
“I do the same thing. They want me to do the same thing I did tonight every time I step on the court so that’s what I’m gonna continue to try to do,” Monk said.
Monk could remain among the starters for Wednesday’s clash against the Oklahoma City Thunder as head coach Frank Vogel revealed James’ status for the game is questionable.
Monk ‘glad’ banged-up Davis didn’t suffer serious injury in Spurs win
The hearts of Lakers fans stopped for a second on a couple of occasions when Davis appeared to suffer an arm injury before bumping his right knee in the last moments of regulation. The All-Star forward remained on the floor, scoring 35 points over 42 minutes of play.
Although Monk was sure somebody from the Lakers’ bench was ready to come in Davis’ place to help, the Kentucky product was happy to see the team’s superstar avoided a serious injury. “Next man up, somebody’s got to step up,” Monk said he thought, seeing Davis go down.
“But he’s a dog, man, he’s never just going to back down from that. I was glad he wasn’t hurt seriously, so big ups to AD.”
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