Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Daniel Collins

Written by: Daniel Collins

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The Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs have absolutely dominated the NBA this century, and they have developed an intense rivalry throughout the years. The Lakers and Spurs have delivered some memorable playoff series against each other, and they are both strong contenders going forward. People in San Antonio will tell you that they have one of the best franchises in the NBA, but they aren’t even close to matching the success of the Lakers. Both the Spurs and Lakers have been members of the Western Conference since the 1981 season, but this rivalry really kicked off in 1999. The Spurs and Lakers combined to appear in seven straight NBA Finals from 1999-2005 and won five consecutive NBA titles from 1999-2003. This rivalry doesn’t date back as far as some of the other great rivalries in the NBA, but the new generation of NBA fans will likely think it is one of the best.

History of Lakers vs. Spurs Rivalry

The Lakers and Spurs first met in 1976 in Los Angeles, and the Lakers came away with a 114-105 win in that game. The two teams have met a total of 227 times since that first game, and the Lakers hold a slim 116-111 lead in the all-time series. Los Angeles is the only team in the NBA that has a winning record against the Spurs. The Lakers and Spurs have played a total of 56 playoff games against each other, and Los Angeles leads that series 34-22. Out of the 12 playoff series between the two teams, the Lakers have eliminated the Spurs in eight of those meetings. San Antonio got the better of Los Angeles in their last playoff meeting, sweeping the Lakers in a first-round series in 2013.

The Lakers were founded in 1947, and they originated in Minneapolis. Success came quickly for the Lakers as they won five NBA titles before 1955. The Lakers were moved to Los Angeles in 1960, and they made the NBA Finals six different times in their first decade out West. Elgin Baylor and Jerry West led those Lakers teams, but they were unable to get past the Boston Celtics at any point in the 1960s. Odds are that even the casual NBA fan has heard of the “Showtime” Lakers led by Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Johnson helped to lead the Lakers to five NBA Championships in the 1980’s playing alongside Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal brought the Lakers three straight championships from 2000-02 and were one of the best duos that the league has ever seen. The Lakers have been a popular pick to win a championship in almost half the years of their existence, and they will be a popular prediction in the coming years.

The Dallas Chaparrals began as a team in the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967 and were a member of that league through 1976. The team was moved to San Antonio and renamed the Spurs in 1973, and the Spurs joined the NBA in 1976. The Spurs have won division titles in over half of the seasons since joining the NBA, and they have made it to the NBA Playoffs 27 of the last 28 seasons since 1889-90. The Spurs have not been able to win as many championships as the Lakers, but they have been one of the most consistently successful teams in professional sports. Head coach Gregg Popovich is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in NBA history and has led the team to five NBA titles. It is hard to pick the greatest Spurs player of all time, but Tim Duncan has to be at the top of the list. San Antonio is considered a small market in today’s NBA, but they are able to beat the odds and deliver championship teams year after year.

Head to Head Comparison of Lakers and Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs have been a very successful franchise since their inception, but they have a long ways to go if they want to match the success of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs have won a total of five NBA Championships, but the Lakers have won a grand total of 16. The Lakers’ 16 NBA Championships is just one shy of the Boston Celtics record for most in NBA History. There is an even more significant disparity in conference titles between the two rivals. The Lakers have won the Western Conference an astonishing 31 times in franchise history while the Spurs have managed to pull off the feat just six times. San Antonio has won a total of 22 division titles, but the Lakers have managed to do it just 23 times. The Spurs and Lakers have been among the two best teams in the NBA since 1999, with each team winning five NBA titles in that time span.

Glance at Last 20 Games Between Lakers and Spurs

The Lakers have a better record against the Spurs in the all-time series standings, but that hasn’t been the case in the last 20 games. The last 20 games clearly don’t tell the whole story in this rivalry, but they can help us make some predictions moving forward. San Antonio has posted a 13-7 record over the Los Angeles Lakers since March 19, 2014, and they have been dominant in both cities. The Spurs have posted a 6-4 record at games played in San Antonio, and they have also gone 7-3 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Odds are that this rivalry will flip back in favor of Los Angeles at some point, but the Spurs have been on a sweet roll in the last four seasons. The Spurs might not always be the pick moving forward, but they have been the right choice more often than not in the previous 20 games.

Betting Trends For Last 20 Games Between Lakers and Spurs

The Spurs have won 65 percent of the last 20 games, but that doesn’t mean that they have been the right pick in terms of sports betting. San Antonio has been the correct moneyline pick in 13 of the last 20 matchups against the Lakers, but there are other options available. The Spurs have been the favorite in terms of point spread in 16 of the previous 20 games against the Lakers, but they have not always been the best pick. San Antonio has gone just 7-9 against the spread as the favorite, which is kind of surprising. In the four games that the Lakers were the betting favorite, the two teams have each won two games. Looking at the over/under results for the last 20 games can also help make predictions in terms of how these teams score when playing against each other. The Lakers and Spurs have combined to go “over” the total in 14 of the last 20 games, while the “under” has hit just six times. Going off the results of the last 20 games it looks like the Lakers and the “over” have been the best picks.