NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 24th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (52-18) at San Antonio Spurs (42-27), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers continue their march to the postseason Wednesday by opening up a five-game road trip in the Alamo City against their long time rival, the San Antonio Spurs.
The Lakers won their sixth straight game on Sunday, when Pau Gasol tied a season high with 28 points and Kobe Bryant scored 20 of his 24 points in the second quarter, as Los Angeles took a 99-92 victory over a woeful Washington Wizards club.
Bryant now needs just two more points to move past former Denver star Alex English and into 12th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Ron Artest added 16 points and Shannon Brown scored 13 off the bench in Los Angeles' sixth straight win.
"We played an awful second half, no intensity," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. "We played extremely well in the first half, we just can't keep the intensity for 48 minutes and that concerns me."
After tonight's game, the Lakers will face Oklahoma City on Friday followed by trips to Houston, New Orleans and Atlanta before returning home April 2 against Utah.
The Spurs, meanwhile, are coming off a huge win over fellow playoff contender Oklahoma City on Monday. George Hill scored a career-high 27 points and San Antonio held off the Thunder, 99-96, despite 45 points from Kevin Durant.
Manu Ginobili added 21 points for the Spurs, who won for the sixth time in eight contests and are tied with the Thunder for sixth place in the Western Conference, a game ahead of eighth-seeded Portland. Tim Duncan tallied 14 points and seven boards while Roger Mason scored 13 in a reserve role.
It was a gutsy win for the Spurs, who traveled to Atlanta the night before and lost in overtime to the Hawks.
"We came here trying to play more with our heads than our legs," Ginobili said. "I think we did a pretty good job."
Los Angeles has split a pair of meetings with the Spurs so far this season but was routed, 105-85, on Jan. 12 in San Antonio. The loss was the Lakers' fourth in their last five visits to the Alamo City.
03/24 11:02:40 ET