SAN ANTONIO, May 2 (Ticker) -- Tony Parker
kept the San Antonio Spurs
in it until Tim Duncan
and the defense won it.
Parker sped to 20 points and nine assists and Duncan scored 12
of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, when the Spurs shut down
the Los Angeles Lakers and rolled to an 88-78 victory in Game
One of their Western Conference semifinal.
NBA TV highlights from|
Manu Ginobili hit two treys and scored 11 points in Game 1.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images/NBA
The third-seeded Spurs regained control after losing their grip
on the game in the third quarter and overcame the second-seeded
Lakers, who uncharacteristically lost their poise in the final
period, committing 10 turnovers.
"They did a great job pressing us the whole game, and I think
fatigue caught up with us at some point," Lakers coach Phil
Parker could not be contained by Gary Payton
or any of the other
Lakers guards. He repeatedly got inside LA's defense with
dribble penetration and created offense for himself and his
"I was just playing in attack mode and played aggressive and
tried to get something for myself and my teammates," he said.
"Tony was big for us tonight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
"He was aggressive on both ends of the court."
Despite Parker's bursts, the Spurs trailed, 69-64, early in the
fourth quarter before Duncan came alive. He had a basket and
two free throws to trigger a 9-0 spurt that gave San Antonio the
lead for good.
The Lakers began to unravel, managing just one basket over 10
minutes - a dunk by Shaquille O'Neal
that cut the deficit to
73-71 with 6:23 to go. After Manu Ginobili
answered with a
layup, LA committed three straight turnovers.
Duncan made them pay each time as he worked the pick-and-roll
with Parker with a 17-footer and banker around a baseline
turnaround for an 81-71 advantage.
"Pop has given me freedom to call the plays, so I called all the
pick-and-rolls," Parker said.
Ginobili sealed it when he leaked out for a layup after another
turnover, making it 83-71 with 1:37 left.
"We probably had 10 turnovers in this game simply trying to get
the ball into (the post)," Jackson said. "We were trying too
hard to do something we weren't capable of doing today."
"We have to do a better job of keeping the basketball," said
Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal, who had four of his team's 22
scored 12 of his 31 points in the third quarter for
the Lakers. But he made just 10-of-26 shots, including none in
the final 11 minutes.
O'Neal had 19 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. But he made
just 3-of-13 free throws, falling to 16-of-57 in the postseason.
And Bryant and O'Neal did not get much help from Karl Malone
Gary Payton. While being outplayed by Duncan and Parker, the
duo combined to make just 4-of-18 shots.
"I take a lot of responsibility for this one," Malone said. "I
know I could have played better in a lot of ways. I feel like I
could have done more."
Game Two between the last five NBA champions is Wednesday at San
Antonio, which has won 16 straight games since March 23. The
teams are meeting in the postseason for the fifth time in the
last six years, with the Game One winner going on to win the
series each time.
"There are not a whole lot of secrets when you face a team,
especially a team like LA that we have faced in years past,"
Duncan said. "There's not a whole lot of secrets about what we
do and what they do. It's about going out there and sticking to
the game plan and believing in what you're doing."
The Spurs trailed, 12-5, when Duncan sat down and Parker took
over. He fueled a 16-2 run with seven points, including a
running 30-footer off a weaving dribble at the horn for a 21-14
Despite making just 1-of-9 free throws, San Antonio held a 41-34
halftime lead before Bryant came out firing in the third
quarter, making shots from all angles as LA surged to a 56-50
lead, silencing the SBC Center crowd.
But Parker scored 10 points in the final five minutes, cutting
the deficit to 65-62 entering the final period.
"I thought Tony did an excellent job of using the pick-and-roll,
getting in the middle of the defense, kicking it when people
were open, making shots when people didn't close on him," Duncan