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Spurs ready to put down injury-ravaged Lakers
(Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs will try for the sweep in their first-round Western Conference playoff series with the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday at the Staples Center.
The Spurs took a 3-0 stranglehold on the series Friday night with a resounding, 120-89 victory.
As well as the Spurs have played in this series, it's all about how depleted the Lakers have been due to injuries.
Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles tendon late in the regular season and was out already. Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks missed the Game 3 blowout with a myriad of injuries and it was too much to overcome.
"In the first half we gave it everything we had and it wasn't enough," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "They ran out of gas at the end. Times are tough right now. I don't fault the effort. We'll try to play as hard as we can on Sunday."
Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock started in the backcourt for LA on Friday. They combined for 44 points, but Bryant and Nash they are not.
"It is difficult because we have lineups out there that we're not accustomed to and it's hard to get on the same page right away so as much as everybody is trying, tonight there was too many breakdowns, especially on the defensive end," Pau Gasol said Friday.
The Lakers suffered their worst home playoff loss in franchise history. They're on the verge of being swept in the first round of the playoffs for the first time.
The Spurs were brilliant on Friday, even against the injury-ravaged Lakers.
All 13 San Antonio players scored, while the team shot 61 percent from the field and held the Lakers to 43 percent. The Spurs' lead was 11 at the half and they won the second half by 20.
"We played a very good game. The second half was great," said Manu Ginobili. "Tim Duncan was amazing. He has been most of the season. We were just good. So good. I am very happy to see the team do it like that."
Duncan had 26 points on 12-for-16 shooting. Tony Parker added 20 and Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and DeJuan Blair all scored in double figures for the Spurs.
"I got a rhythm going early and stayed away from Pau and Dwight's length," Duncan said. "We respect our opponents so we stay focused. We had a lot of pick-and-rolls and ball movement tonight. Focus and health is what we need and we need to close this series out."
Mercy doesn't seem to be on the minds of the Spurs.
"They are lacking 5-6 players, so it is hard to maintain regularity and aggressiveness for 48 minutes when you have so many players out," explained Ginobili. "So it is good that we could punish them in that regard."
If the Lakers emerge victorious, Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday in San Antonio.
04/28 10:43:06 ET