Kobe returns but Spurs rout LakersApr 21, 2012 - 6:01 AM
Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili both added 20 points for the Spurs, who won their sixth straight and remain a half-game game ahead of Oklahoma City atop the Western Conference. The Thunder defeated the Kings on Friday.
Bryant missed the previous seven games with a sore left shin. The Lakers went 5-2 over that span, but trailed by as many as 26 on Friday. They are seeded third in the West and lead the Clippers by a half-game in both the Pacific Division and the conference.
"I'm back now," said Bryant. "It took me a half to get back to my regular self. In the second half, I felt like I had a good rhythm but the game just got away from us."
Andrew Bynum scored 17 points in the setback, Bryant finished with 18 and Matt Barnes added 14.
The first half was tightly contested, featuring five ties and six lead changes. San Antonio held a 56-52 advantage at the break, then decisively pulled away in the third quarter.
Consecutive baskets from Boris Diaw and Parker pushed the advantage to double- digits, 71-61, near the midway point and Ginobili later scored five straight, making a stepback baseline jumper and then three consecutive free throws, for an 84-65 lead.
"We played pretty good defense in the second half, especially the third quarter. That fueled the pace and we kept the pace pretty good," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
It was 91-73 entering the fourth quarter and San Antonio's lead continued to mount. Matt Bonner opened with a three-pointer and a layup before Gary Neal hit a 16-footer, stretching the margin to 98-73.
A three-pointer from Danny Green in the closing minutes made it 116-90, marking the Spurs' largest lead of the game.
San Antonio shot a season-high 61 percent from the field...The Lakers had won their previous two visits to San Antonio.
- LOS ANGELES: 97
SAN ANTONIO: 121
Apr 21 12:01 AM
- LOS ANGELES: 73
SAN ANTONIO: 91
End of 3rd
Apr 20 11:29 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 52
SAN ANTONIO: 56
Apr 20 10:43 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 25
SAN ANTONIO: 32
End of 1st
Apr 20 10:05 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 0
SAN ANTONIO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 20 9:41 PM
- NBA's 6-city tour lets US catch up in 3-on-3 basketball May 21
- Thunder will try to bounce back after big loss to Warriors May 20
- Entering Hollywood, Kobe Bryant gets advice from Spielberg May 20
- 24 teams set for NBA Summer League in Las Vegas in July May 18
- Cavs 9-0 in these playoffs, and joining rarefied NBA air May 18
- 76ers win NBA draft lottery, Lakers stay at No. 2, keep pick May 17
- After lots of losing, 76ers hope to win big in NBA lottery May 17
- Jim McMillian, forward on '72 Lakers title team, dead at 68 May 16
- Defending champion Warriors expect tough task from Thunder May 16
- Capsule preview of the Warriors-Thunder West finals May 15
- Durant, Thunder beat Spurs and return to conference finals May 13
- Spurs unsure if Duncan or Ginobili will return May 13