Kyle Kuzma bombed in a 3-pointer in the first minute of overtime, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added a clincher three minutes later, helping the Los Angeles Lakers outlast the visiting San Antonio Spurs 122-112 on Wednesday night.
Kuzma finished with a game-high 30 points for the Lakers, who began a five-game, season-ending run of games against clubs battling for playoff position in the Western Conference. They will play all remaining games at the Staples Center.
The loss was costly to the Spurs (45-34), who fell into a tie with Oklahoma City (45-34) for the fifth spot in a tightly bunched Western group.
The Spurs are now tied in the loss column not only with the Thunder but also Minnesota (44-34) and New Orleans (44-34), with Denver (43-35) and the Los Angeles Clippers (42-36) not far behind.
San Antonio, which has only three games remaining, finishes the season at New Orleans.
Kuzma’s 3-pointer on the Lakers’ first possession of overtime gave his club a lead it never relinquished at 111-108.
The rookie added a short jumper for a five-point advantage, and Josh Hart made one of two free throws, accounting for all the Los Angeles scoring until Caldwell-Pope dropped the hammer with his 3-pointer for a 117-110 lead with just 1:11 to play.
After Dejounte Murray had pulled the Spurs even at 108-all with 23.6 seconds to go in regulation, Hart had a shot at a game-winner, but he saw his driving attempt roll off the rim under heavy pressure just before the horn sounded.
The Lakers had opened the fourth quarter with a 9-2 burst, taking a 90-89 lead on a layup by Caldwell-Pope with 9:21 remaining.
The remainder of regulation featured two lead changes and five ties.
Kuzma sank five 3-pointers for the Lakers, who were without Lonzo Ball (knee) and Brandon Ingram (concussion).
Caldwell-Pope backed Kuzma with 21 points, while Channing Frye had 19, Julius Randle 12 and Tyler Ennis 10 for Los Angeles, which had lost three in a row.
Hart finished with a team-high 10 rebounds to go with eight points, while Ennis dished off a game-high seven assists.
LaMarcus Aldridge had a team-high 28 points for the Spurs, who were without key reserve Manu Ginobili, who was resting on the second night of a back-to-back.
Murray (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Pau Gasol (11 points, game-high 12 rebounds) recorded double-doubles for San Antonio, which took a 113-110 loss in the same building to the Clippers the night before.
Patty Mills added 15 points and Rudy Gay 14 for the Spurs.
Neither team led by more than eight points in the tightly contested game.
—Field Level Media