Bryant, Odom Lead Lakers Over Spurs
L.A. Lakers 100, San Antonio 92
SAN ANTONIO, March 10 (Ticker) -- Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers did something they had not done in seven meetings with the San Antonio Spurs.
Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and Lamar Odom contributed 13, nine assists and eight rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Spurs, 100-92, for their first win in the series in over two years.
On Friday, the Lakers finally got over the hump, limiting Spurs superstar Tim Duncan to only 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
"Tonight we really picked each other up as teammates," said Bryant, who added four assists. "It's a big win for us. We are gaining confidence as a team. We now know that we can come in and really execute our game plan that we will be all right."
The Lakers trailed by one point at the start of the second period before slowly pulling away as Bryant scored 10 of his 13 second-quarter points in a 6 1/2-minute span, making it 43-32.
"I didn't shoot well for three quarters of the game and they really picked me up," said Bryant, who was 11-of-29 from the field. "In my career I've had some games like that, where I don't start off well but I know if I stay within the game and keep shooting, I can get hot at the end."
Holding a 51-37 edge at intermission, Los Angeles extended its edge as Odom scored on a driving layup and Bryant hit a technical foul shot to build a 16-point lead with 9:26 remaining.
"We're a driving team," said Odom, who added two blocks. "Offensively, this is the perfect time of the year to start playing well. As we get closer to playoff time, it is the perfect time to play your best basketball and come together as a unit."
"Los Angeles did a great job," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, whose team shot just 34 percent in the first half. "They were very physical, very sharp, very aggressive; they did a great job defensively."
The Spurs trailed, 74-60, entering the fourth quarter and never challenged thereafter. They fell a half-game behind Dallas (48-13) in the Southwest Division.
"We played with a lot more energy against Phoenix than we did tonight," said Spurs forward Bruce Bowen, whose club was coming off Thursday's win over the Suns. "They were very athletic and we won that game. We needed that effort against the Lakers."
The Lakers' fourth win in five games allowed Jackson to surpass Jack Ramsay for ninth on the all-time coaching wins list with 865.
"The nice thing about this win is that this is a tough place to come into and take a game," Jackson said. "The Spurs have done a great job of winning their games on this court."
Smush Parker scored 18 points and Luke Walton added 13 and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 48 percent (39-of-80) from the field and registered 56 points in the paint.
Michael Finley and Brent Barry scored 16 points apiece for San Antonio, which shot 45 percent (32-of-70) and made 11-of-19 from behind the arc.
"As hard as we played in the second half, it didn't matter," said Barry, who made 6-of-11 shots. "If you don't approach it the right way, you are going to lose games like this. The game doesn't allow you to mess with it and that is a lesson that we have to take out of tonight's loss."