Parker, Bowen pick up the slack for SpursNov 14, 2007 - 5:42 AM By Brian Guerra PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN ANTONIO(Ticker) - Kobe Bryant struggled, and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the Los Angeles Lakers 107-92 Tuesday night at the AT&T Center.
Tony Parker led the way for the Spurs, who are undefeated at home, with 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting and nine assists.
Bryant, who entered the game averaging 30.4 points per game, scored 18 points. He couldn't get in any kind of early groove, and it didn't help that he had the pesky Bruce Bowen on him throughout the night.
"His effort tonight was no different than any other night," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It's not like he just turns it on for Kobe or this guy or that guy. He does it every night he steps on the court because he's a pro, and he did another good job tonight."
But Bowen also chipped in heavily on offense. The defensive-minded forward, whose previous season high was seven points, poured in 23, including 6-of-6 from the 3-point line.
"It's really a matter of me acclimating to the season," Bowen said. "Early on, you're out there thinking too much, and I just really tried to just focus and play tonight."
Parker's penetration allowed the Spurs, who made a season-high 13 3-pointers, to get in a rhythm from behind the arc. Matt Bonner hit three of them, as part of his season-high 15 points. Manu Ginobili, who finished with 17 points, drained two.
"We just hit threes," Parker said. "Matt and Bruce hit because they packed the inside on defense, which allowed me and Manu to penetrate and setup shots. It's great to have teammates who can hit the outside shot. It really helps."
It was only the second road game of the year for the Lakers, who committed 19 turnovers. Averaging 17 turnovers per game, Los Angeles coughed it up 15 times in the first half alone.
"San Antonio knows this offense," Bryant said. "They knew it better than we did tonight."
Bowen hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter, and Parker scored 10 points to give San Antonio a 21-15 lead after the first.
Jordan Farmar's powerful one-handed dunk on a fast break gave the Lakers a 28-27 lead with 8:29 left in the second quarter.
Parker led the Spurs in the first half. As usual, he continued to find ways to get in the paint, including one play where he sped past Farmar, then tightly spun around Andrew Bynum for a layup that gave the Spurs a 33-30 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Lakers regained the lead 34-33, but Bonner came off the bench and scored 10 points in eight minutes for the Spurs. San Antonio finished the half with a 21-4 run to take a 54-38 lead at the break.
"We had a rocky start in the first half. I thought we gave our points away, basically. We looked uncomfortable out there as a team," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.
Tim Duncan had an off-night, hitting only 2-of-13 from the field for five points. Fortunately for him, five other Spurs were in double figures.
"TD had an off night, but the rest of us still played. Everybody that came into the game just helped the team," Ginobili said. "It was great to see how everyone made an effort to forget about TD's off night." A Ginobili 3-pointer gave the Spurs an 18-point lead with 4:14 left in the third, and the Lakers never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.
LA LAKERS 92
SAN ANTONIO 107 FINAL
Nov 13 10:50 PM
LA LAKERS 62
SAN ANTONIO 79 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 13 10:18 PM
LA LAKERS 38
SAN ANTONIO 54 HALFTIME
Nov 13 9:36 PM
LA LAKERS 15
SAN ANTONIO 21 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 13 9:05 PM
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