NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at San Antonio
(Tuesday, December 28th)
Final Score: San Antonio 97, LA Lakers 82
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Tony Parker scored 23 points, DeJuan Blair added 17 points and 15 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs turned up the defensive pressure in the second half to overpower the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, 97-82.
Richard Jefferson added 15 points and seven rebounds, while George Hill chipped in with 10 points and nine rebounds. San Antonio's double-digit thumping was even more impressive considering Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili combined to score just 11 points on 4-of-19 shooting. The Spurs have won 12 of 13 games overall.
"That was the most important part of the night for us," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said of the team's defense. "We played excellent team defense, and that's where we've been lacking. It really made a big difference tonight against a very good basketball team."
Kobe Bryant was harassed into an 8-for-27 shooting night, as the Lakers made just 35.4 percent of their shots and 8-fo-23 three-pointers. Bryant scored 21 points, while Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum added 10 points apiece in Los Angeles' third straight setback.
"I've been playing mad as long as you've been writing mad," Bryant said after the game. "I got good looks, I just didn't make them."
Both teams felt their way through the first period, but the Spurs reeled off the final seven points capped by Bonner's trey for a 27-18 edge. The Lakers rallied in the second quarter, tying the game at 38-38 on Odom's mid-range jumper, one of only three field goals for the forward on the night. Los Angeles surged in front, 44-42, at the half.
The entire second half belonged to the NBA's best team so far this season. San Antonio swallowed up the Lakers, thwarting any Bryant dribble penetration and holding Los Angeles to 38 second-half points. Jefferson's three-pointer with 10:40 left in the third quarter gave San Antonio the edge for good at 47-46.
The Spurs took a 64-53 advantage on Parker's steal and coast-to-coast layup. Ginobili drained one of his two three-pointers in the quarter's closing seconds to open a 71-62 margin.
The advantage never got lower than nine points during the fourth quarter.
San Antonio made 42.5 percent of its shots and just 9-of-32 three-pointers, but forced 16 turnovers and held a decided 42-28 advantage on points in the paint...Los Angeles shot 35.4 percent from the floor, including a 1-of-11 effort from reserve Shannon Brown.
12/29 02:32:49 ET