Lakers give Spurs first home loss in 3 monthsMar 7, 2011 - 12:23 AM San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - In what many considered to be a Western Conference Finals preview, the Los Angeles Lakers made an emphatic statement behind 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists from Kobe Bryant in a 99-83 whipping of San Antonio at the AT&T Center that wasn't as close as the final score indicated.
Pau Gasol totaled 21 points, six boards and five assists while Lamar Odom supplied 15 points and six assists for the Lakers, who have won seven straight since the All-Star break. LA has also held four consecutive opponents to less than 90 points.
"We're playing well and it's important to keep that going," Bryant said. "Today was a good test to see how much we've improved since the All-Star break. We passed today."
Gary Neal provided 15 points off the bench while Tony Parker and George Hill netted 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who had a 22-game home win streak snapped. San Antonio dropped to 29-3 with its first loss on home hardwood since a November 26 setback to Dallas.
Tim Duncan made just 1-of-7 shots in matching a career-low with two points and Manu Ginobili added only six points after a 3-of-10 shooting effort.
LA connected on 15-of-25 shots, while holding the Spurs to just a 6-for-22 conversion rate, in taking a 34-13 lead after the first quarter and were never seriously challenged the rest of the way.
With the game tied at eight, the Lakers went on a 14-2 run to take a 12-point lead with 4:41 left in the quarter. Following a Matt Bonner three-pointer, the visitors closed the period with the last 12 points.
The Lakers advantage never dipped below 21 over the final 8:46 of the second quarter, and was extended to as many as 29, en route a 65-37 edge at the half.
San Antonio fell behind by as much as 32 and could not get closer than 27 in the third quarter and went into the final session trailing 81-52.
"When you lose like this, it's not as bad as it seems, just like when we won the Miami game (Friday), it's not as good as it seems," Neal commented. "It's one game. Unfortunately, it was against the Lakers, a team we'll probably see in the playoffs. This is a warning sign that we have to continue to work and continue to improve."
Head coach Gregg Popovich emptied the Spurs bench in the fourth quarter and the reserves were able to make the score look respectable.
Andrew Bynum added four points and a game-high 17 rebounds for LA, which also got 12 points off the bench from Shannon Brown...Duncan also went 1-for-7 with 2 points in a December 28 win over the Lakers...He was limited to two points on December 12, 2007 against Portland and March 20, 2005 at Detroit...Richard Jefferson posted a lone point in 21 minutes in defeat, as the five San Antonio starters mustered only 29 points...The Spurs shot 36 percent from the floor, making just 31-of-86 attempts...Steve Novak chipped in with nine points off the bench and starter DeJuan Blair contributed six points and 12 boards in defeat.
- LOS ANGELES: 99
SAN ANTONIO: 83
Mar 6 5:51 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 81
SAN ANTONIO: 52
End of 3rd
Mar 6 5:20 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 65
SAN ANTONIO: 37
Mar 6 4:33 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 34
SAN ANTONIO: 13
End of 1st
Mar 6 4:01 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 0
SAN ANTONIO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 6 3:38 PM
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