Lakers collapse in fourth quarter and Spurs snuff out their 4-game win streak

  • The Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan shoots as he is defended by the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, left, and Lonzo Ball during the second half of Friday’s game in San Antonio. DeRozan again lit up the Lakers in a 133-120 Spurs victory. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • The Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, right, looks to pass the ball as the Spurs’ Rudy Gay defends during the first half of Friday’s game in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

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  • Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) drives around San Antonio Spurs’ Rudy Gay during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • San Antonio Spurs’ Rudy Gay (22) fights for the ball against Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, right, and JaVale McGee during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) shoots against San Antonio Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • San Antonio Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart (3) and JaVale McGee during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ Michael Beasley (11) drives against San Antonio Spurs’ Derrick White during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James shoots during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • The Lakers’ LeBron James drives between the Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge, left, and Rudy Gay during the first half of Friday’s 133-120 loss in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • San Antonio Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers’ JaVale McGee defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 133-120. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton, right, talks to referee Karl Lane during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 133-120. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • San Antonio Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl (25) shoots next to Los Angeles Lakers’ JaVale McGee, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 133-120. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, right, and Tyson Chandler talk to referee Karl Lane during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 133-120. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma (0) reaches for the ball next to San Antonio Spurs’ Davis Bertans during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 133-120. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) drives against San Antonio Spurs’ Dante Cunningham during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 133-120. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich signals to his players during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 133-120. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) questions referee Karl Lane (77) about a call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 133-120. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

  • Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James sits on the bench during a timeout in the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 133-120. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

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SAN ANTONIO — Same opponent. Vastly different fourth quarter.

Two nights after closing convincingly against the Spurs at home, the Lakers (15-10) were closed out themselves, completely shut down in a 44-21 fourth quarter in which they looked gassed.

The four-game winning streak came to a halt at the AT&T Center, stopped by the likes of DeMar DeRozan (36 points, eight rebounds, nine assists), who had three straight unanswered baskets that effectively snuffed the Lakers with two minutes to go. In the 133-120 defeat, the Lakers themselves showed signs of fatigue late in a game that just seemed to drag on.

Four of the Lakers starters were forced into big minutes thanks to the absences of Brandon Ingram (left ankle sprain) and Rajon Rondo (right hand fracture), playing more than 35 minutes each. And while LeBron James (35 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds) started stronger than anyone, even he faded, hitting just 1 for 6 in the final quarter.

The Spurs (12-14) got down-the-stretch contributions from Jakob Poeltl (14 points) and Davis Bertans (13 points) to take the season series from the Lakers at 3-1.

Even without Ingram, the team’s third-leading scorer, offense initially flowed easily for the Lakers, who scored 72 points in the first half.

The two starting forwards keyed the attack, with Kuzma getting 13 of his points in the first quarter, then James scoring 14 of his in the second. The Lakers led by as much as 15 midway through the second quarter, powering ahead with a 14-2 run that at one brief segment made it appear they might run away altogether.

But beating the Spurs at home remains a troublesome endeavor. The Lakers had trouble defending against San Antonio’s ball movement, and an even tougher time keeping DeMar DeRozan off the free-throw line, where he went 14 for 18.

The Spurs went 28 for 33 at the free-throw line, while the Lakers were 17 for 21.

Ingram is the Lakers’ best defensive answer for DeRozan, but he played a total of five minutes in the four games against them, missing the first two because of suspension and most of this week’s meetings with the sprained ankle. DeRozan scored 30 or more points in each game, going 48 for 99 from the field, 32 for 37 at the free-throw line and logging 34 assists, 35 rebounds and just nine turnovers.

More to come on this story.

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