L.A. Lakers 101, Spurs 71

LOS ANGELES, May 23 (AP) -- There would be no blown lead in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers saw to that.

Bryant scored 22 points, Lamar Odom added 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Lakers took command late in the second quarter to rout San Antonio 101-71 Friday night for a 2-0 lead over the Spurs.

Games 3 and 4 in the best-of-seven series will be played in San Antonio, where the defending NBA champion Spurs have a 6-0 record in the postseason and have won 20 of their last 22 games.

Only 14 of the 222 teams to fall behind 2-0 in best-of-seven NBA playoff series have come back to win, including the Spurs in their second-round matchup with the New Orleans Hornets. But this figures to be a much tougher assignment -- San Antonio has to be perfect at home and win a game at Staples Center, where the Lakers are 7-0 in the postseason and have won 13 straight.

"The old adage is you just won the games on your home court, which is the important part, and extended the series to six games," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We know that. Now, nothing happens until we win on their court. And someone wins on the other team's court."

The Lakers had to rally from a 20-point third-quarter deficit to win the opener 89-85, and didn't take their first lead in that game until the final 3 minutes.

They never trailed in Game 2 -- the third time in their last four playoff games that happened. After a basket by Tim Duncan enabled the Spurs to forge the only tie, the Lakers scored the final nine points of the second quarter for a 46-37 halftime lead.

San Antonio would get no closer.

The Lakers had reason to be leery as the second half began, considering the Spurs outscored them 14-2 to begin the third quarter in Game 1 for a 65-45 lead before the Lakers stormed back.

But Bryant scored seven points in the first 2 minutes of the third period and Odom added seven more during a 20-10 run that gave the Lakers a 66-48 lead.

It was 74-57 entering the fourth quarter, and the Lakers made it a blowout by outscoring the Spurs 14-3 to begin the final period to make it 88-60. Reserves played the rest of the way for both teams.

"I think they had an off-night," Jackson said. "I think they had some tired legs and I think that's what happens sometimes. You get to playing a lot of playoff games back to back, we're every other day in this situation. Kind of crept up on them, perhaps."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich agreed to some extent, saying: "I think being out of gas had somewhat of an effect, but not as much as the good play of the Lakers. We definitely have to have more people playing better to get this done."

Jackson said he expected the Spurs to be a much different team Sunday night in Game 3.

"Oh, without a doubt," he said, perhaps mindful of the fact that the Spurs were blown out in the first two games at New Orleans before turning that series around.

Jordan Farmar scored a career playoff high 14 points, Derek Fisher added 11 points, and Pau Gasol had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 54.9 percent to San Antonio's 34.5 percent and outrebounded the Spurs 44-36.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 13 points and four assists. Duncan was the only other San Antonio player in double figures with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Manu Ginobili was ineffective again, shooting 2-for-8 and scoring seven points. He shot 3-for-13 and scored 13 in the opener.

Ginobili, who had started San Antonio's previous six postseason games, was used in a reserve role, as was the case most of the season when he won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award. It didn't make any difference.

"There was some thought of shutting him down for the game," Popovich said.

Ginobili has been hampered by an injured finger and a sprained ankle.

Bryant, who had only two points at halftime of Game 1, was more aggressive from the start Friday night, shooting 6-for-11 and scoring 13 in the opening 24 minutes. The Lakers shot 54.3 percent to San Antonio's 34.8 percent in the first half and the Spurs went 2-of-7 from the foul line, with Duncan misfiring on all four of his attempts.

Bryant had eight points and Fisher added seven to help the Lakers take a 21-16 first-quarter lead. Fisher scored only four points in the opener.

Notes: Lakers forward Trevor Ariza was on the active list for the first time since breaking his right foot Jan. 20, and played the last 5:53 of the game. He made his only shot for two points. ... The last time the Lakers overcame a 20-point deficit to win a playoff game before the opener of this series was in Game 4 of the conference finals in 2002, when they trailed by 20 in the second quarter before rallying to beat Sacramento 100-99 on Robert Horry's last-second 3-pointer. ... Horry, who now plays for the Spurs, shot 0-for-5 while going scoreless in 14 minutes Friday night. ... The Lakers have a 50-10 record in postseason games at Staples Center since the arena opened before the 1999-2000 season. ... Parker is the only player on the Spurs roster under 30 who is part of their rotation, while Fisher is the only member of the Lakers older than 30 who plays with regularity. ... The Lakers have won eight of their last nine appearances in the conference finals while the Spurs have won four of their last five.


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