GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score San Antonio Spurs 18 20 22 24 84
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 24 19 16 23 82

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Green's 3-pointer pushes Spurs past Lakers 84-82


Posted Nov 14 2012 1:11AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Danny Green hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.3 seconds left, Tony Parker scored 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat Los Angeles 84-82 Tuesday night in the Lakers' first loss since firing coach Mike Brown.

After Pau Gasol missed a 3-pointer, Tiago Splitter's hustle prevented the Lakers from controlling the rebound before the buzzer sounded on Los Angeles' first game since hiring Mike D'Antoni late Sunday night. Interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff ran the team for the third straight game.

Tim Duncan had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who improved the Western Conference's best record to 7-1 thanks to Green's third 3-pointer of the night.

Kobe Bryant had 28 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, who dropped to 3-5 after committing 17 turnovers on a poor shooting night. Dwight Howard had 13 points and 15 rebounds.

The Lakers found another kind of drama in their first game since the club surprisingly bypassed 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson to hire D'Antoni, who is expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The Lakers' crowd cheered for Bickerstaff, but never broke out into the "We want Phil!" chants that occurred in their past two games.

Both teams struggled with poor shooting until the final minutes, when Antawn Jamison's 3-pointer from the corner put the Lakers ahead 78-77 with 2:10 to play. Duncan reclaimed the lead with a jumper, but Gasol hit two free throws with 1:36 left and added an elbow jumper.

Duncan trimmed the lead to one point before Metta World Peace missed an open jumper in the final minute. The Spurs worked the ball to Green out of a timeout, and the guard confidently drained his 3-pointer, accidentally bumping Bryant during his celebration.

The Lakers' final possession developed poorly, and the 7-foot Gasol had to force up a 3-point attempt.

Despite the loss, several days of upheaval finally abated Tuesday for the Lakers - even though their new coach still isn't in town. The Lakers haven't said when D'Antoni will formally take over the team, and Bickerstaff could still be running the bench Friday when the Phoenix Suns visit Staples Center.

And though Jackson has criticized the Lakers' handling of his candidacy, the players who had been eager to play for the Zen Master seem equally eager to line up for D'Antoni. Bryant and Steve Nash enthusiastically endorsed D'Antoni's hiring at the morning shootaround, with Bryant downplaying the notion that the Lakers' defense would suffer during the offense-minded coach's tenure.

The Lakers played without point guard Steve Blake, who has a minor abdominal strain. Blake had started the Lakers' last five games in place of Nash, who will be out for another week or more with a small fracture in his leg.

Darius Morris had one point on 0-for-5 shooting in his first career NBA start in Blake's place, while veteran backup Chris Duhon managed five points. The Lakers played without a point guard down the stretch, with World Peace defending Parker while Bryant largely orchestrated the Lakers' offense.

While the Lakers wait for a regime change on the bench, they've improved the effort that partly led to Brown's firing - and the Lakers aren't running Brown's much-debated, Princeton-based offense, sticking largely to pickup-ball sets on offense since the coach's departure.

NOTES: The Lakers barely exceeded the 80 points they scored in February 1999 during their lowest-scoring performance ever in their first 146 meetings with the Spurs. ... DeJuan Blair scored six points for the Spurs while playing on a bruised left knee. ... World Peace celebrated his 33rd birthday. The eccentric forward said he has enjoyed multiple birthday parties over the past few days. ... Floyd Mayweather Jr., Minnesota Vikings lineman Matt Kalil and David Beckham attended the game.


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Points Bryant, 28
Rebounds Howard, 15
Assists Bryant, 8
Steals Green (SAS), 3
Blocks Duncan (SAS), 4


Bernie Bickerstaff:

On if there was confusion in the final possession:
“It wasn’t confusion. They took and put two guys on Kobe and took him out, and when he drove late he took two people with him, and I don’t know how there’s confusion when a guy gets a wide open shot. That’s definitely what happened to Gasol he had a wide open shot. I’ll take that any day.”

On the game’s 4th quarter:
“We had two wide open shots going down the stretch. Metta had a good look that he’s been making. Pau had a good look that he’s been making. But the game was coming up with the garbage plays when we had had gotten really good stops defensively. I think they swiped one from Pau. They took one from [Dwight Howard]. So we did a good job defensively, we just didn’t finish with the play.”

On Spurs’ guard Danny Green’s game-winning shot:
“I think they ran a nice play, and he knocked his shot down. He did what we had an opportunity to do and we just didn’t make our shots. We had the shots. It was a good basketball game against a very good basketball team. We had an opportunity to get it done and it’s simple we didn’t get it done.”

On having Metta World Peace guard Tony Parker:
“I thought with Kobe and Metta in the back court, and Metta on [Tony] Parker, they didn’t really get much going there in the [end of the game]. I thought about it and I thought about the size that we brought, and we thought that Metta could play the position. In the past we’ve always thought about putting a bigger guy on [Tony] Parker, to make him shoot over in those situations.”

On the team’s effort:
“I think the kids have been reaching out. When you talk about, there’s Kobe who doesn’t get an opportunity to practice, but he’s out there gutting it out and playing. You’re talking about a young man [Dwight Howard] who’s coming back from back surgery, he’s out there playing. I don’t buy into that theory on a lack of effort. I haven’t seen that.”

Pau Gasol:

On discouragement of game:
“I think we did a lot of good things. We held San Antonio below 40 percent shooting, we held their bench. Guys that have been having great games like Gary Neal, Manu, took to low percentage and low production. We did a pretty solid job throughout the game. It just came down to a tough shot and missing the last one on the other end.”

On Bernie’s approach:
“His approach has been keeping it simple and letting us play. He’s just setting a simple game plan defensively and offensively. He is just playing out of pretty simple actions. It is nothing fancy but enough for us to be productive because we do have the personnel to get stuff out of other sections.”

On his shots and effort of the night:
“They were great looks. I made some, missed some. I wish I could have made a couple, maybe one or two more, that would have been nice. Hopefully I’ll get closer looks to the basket. Most of my looks are made outside the key and I would like to mix it up a little more, make it a little more balanced.”

Kobe Bryant:

On improvements:
“We played much much better. We played more aggressive on both ends of the floor. I feel like defensively we were going in. Communication is where it should be defensively. We are doing a good job communicating during the game, during time outs. We’re pushing guys where we need to push them and making them take tough shots. Shots that percentage wise normally hit.”

On last 30 seconds of the game:
“I don’t think it was confusion. I think Green hit a big shot. He shot 4 for 12 tonight but he had the guts to take that shot, which was a tough one. It was a contested shot and he knocked it down. And we just came down to the end of the floor and had a brain fart and wound up losing the game.”

On not having Nash or Blake:
“It makes a huge impact. But out guards are playing pretty well. Darius struggled a little bit tonight but he’s been playing well for us. Duhon was constantly professional. He came into the game and played extremely well. We came into a big lineup which was very effective for us but obviously you miss those guys. I miss Steve because during games you see me initiating offense and making plays for others, which I’m capable of doing but with Steve in the game, I finish the plays.”

Dwight Howard:

On the tough loss:
“I was discouraged that we lost but I was happy with our effort, we just got to come up with those possessions late in the game, especially on defense. I think we had a couple of possessions where we played some great defense and they came up with the rebound, so we got to do a better job”

On the amount of touches:
“All that stuff will come with time. We just got to keep going to the boards hard, just keep playing hard, keep playing through every situation on the court. My touches and everything else will come but I just got to continue to play hard and on the defensive end, be there for my teammates.”

On tonight's performance
“Kobe is doing his thing, I think once we get to full strength we’ll be a lot better than we are now. I think we’ve been doing a good job the last couple of games of just playing and not just going through the motions sometimes.”

Greg Popovich:

On the game:
“Any road win is always sweet, as we all know in the NBA […] We’re thrilled with the win. We hung in there for 48 minutes and found a way.”

“We have been concentrating on our defense this year […] Making steals is part of it, but digging and helping in the post, small guys rebounding. All of those things add up and we did a pretty good job of it.”

On the last play by Danny Green:
“We executed the play very well. Of course you still have to knock it down and Danny did. Timmy set a great screen. It worked out for us."

On Kawhi Leonard:
“Well think about it…A young guy. This was his first training camp and he guards Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant. That helps you learn real quick. And he loves it. He is really a sponge when it comes to information and trying to do the right thing.”

Tony Parker:

On the last offensive play:
“Pop ran a play for Danny, and I think that was a great call because Kobe always has a tendency to stay in the paint and think it was a play for me or for Timmy. Danny was wide-open and he knocked it down. It was a big shot for us. Then we finished it off with a great play defensively. Kawhi did a great job denying Kobe, and we got the shot that we wanted.”

On Danny Green:
“Danny does a little bit of everything. He’s pretty good defensively; he can guard 1, 2, and 3. On offense he’s a very good shooter, very good 3-point shooter, so he can space the floor. He’s becoming pretty good at penetrating. He’s improving and he’s got a great attitude. He’s a great guy and I’m very happy for him that he made that shot, it was a huge shot for us.”

Tim Duncan:

On the last play offensively:
“Great play call on his part. In that situation we want to move people around and see what we can get open shot wise. Honestly, the play was called and it was run great, but I missed a screen. Kobe faked me off of one side, I went to that side, he came up the inside and I didn’t actually hit him, then Danny came off and decided to shoot anyways; so that was all Danny on that one.”

On getting a “gritty” win:
“It’s good for us. We didn’t shoot the ball well. We had a lot of open shots, and we actually worked the ball pretty well and got the shots we wanted, we just didn’t knock them out. They did the same, they pounded it inside, they moved the ball around, and they stayed in the game. But, to get a win like that in this situation is very fortunate, especially on the road trip.”

Danny Green:

On having Popovich drawing plays up for him, over the veterans:
“When he does draw up plays for young guys like us it is very surprising, we don’t expect it. This is only my 3rd year, so for him to draw up a play for me is a lot of pressure on you, but you just take the shot with the confidence he gives you. He encourages you, we all encourage each other and it’s easy for me to just take the shot and not think about it so much. So when he calls plays for me it’s very rare and unexpected, so you have to take advantage of it.”

On etting 3 wins in a row on the road trip:
“It’s good for us; it was a good road trip for us. We just continue to grow, we want to get better. Now we have to take it out east, we come home first, but then we take it out east. We want to continue to stay consistent on the road and make the best of these trips. It’s still early in the season, but each game we try to make strides to get better even when we’re not making shots like tonight.”




Posted Nov 12 2012 9:36PM

The Los Angeles Lakers will no longer be searching for a new coach when they take the floor Tuesday night, but their newest employee won't be on the bench quite yet.

Two days after hiring Mike D'Antoni as their new head coach, the Lakers will face the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center.

Los Angeles made the hire late Sunday night, though it remains uncertain when D'Antoni - who underwent knee replacement surgery recently - will join the team. His first game likely won't be until at least Friday against Phoenix, one of his former teams.

"Dr. (Jerry) Buss, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak unanimously agreed that Mike was the best coach for this roster at this time," Lakers spokesman John Black said.

D'Antoni most recently coached New York before resigning in March. His hiring by Los Angeles brings him together with Kobe Bryant, who idolized the former Olimpia Milano star while growing up in Italy.

The new coach will likely have to wait a while to utilize point guard Steve Nash, who is expected to miss at least another week due to a small fracture in his leg. Nash, who won two NBA MVP awards while running D'Antoni's offense with the Suns, has missed the last five games.

Steve Blake, who started those games in place of Nash, will miss Tuesday's contest with a minor abdominal strain.

The Lakers also met with former coach Phil Jackson on Saturday, but decided to go with D'Antoni.

Los Angeles (3-4) has already smoothed things out a bit after a 1-4 start under former coach Mike Brown - their worst beginning to a season since 1993-94. The Lakers are 2-0 under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, though those wins came at home against Golden State and Sacramento, teams with a combined 5-9 record.

Dwight Howard tallied 23 points and 18 rebounds in a 103-90 win over the Kings on Sunday.

"I've been around a lot of teams, and this is the consummate professional group," Bickerstaff said. "No one's naive. They've been around a long time and we've been around a long time, so they understand."

They could face a greater challenge against a Spurs team coming to Los Angeles to finish a four-game road trip, although San Antonio hasn't been playing the polished brand of basketball that its 6-1 record might indicate.

The Spurs averaged 13.8 turnovers in their first four games - all victories, three of them at home - but they have at least 20 in each game on this trip. Opponents have taken advantage, averaging 100.3 points after San Antonio's first four foes averaged 89.5.

The Spurs needed a career-high 27 points from Gary Neal - including 20 in the second half - to manage a 112-109 win at Portland on Saturday. Gregg Popovich's team trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter.

Neal played 32 minutes, almost twice as many as he averaged in the first six games, as point guard Tony Parker sat out with a flu virus that has been plaguing the Spurs. Stephen Jackson missed their win at Sacramento on Friday with the bug and Tim Duncan has also been affected, though he hasn't missed any games.

"He carried us on his back," Popovich said about Neal. "Sometimes a player will do that, and he picked a good time for it."

The Spurs and Lakers have split their last 10 meetings, with San Antonio taking two of three last season - including a 112-91 road victory April 17. Parker had 29 points on 14-of-20 shooting along with 13 assists in that game, which Bryant missed with an injury.

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Probable Starters .
  #15 World Peace SF #2 Leonard  
  #16 GasolPF #21 Duncan  
  #12 Howard C #33 Diaw  
  #24 Bryant SG #20 Green  
  #5 Blake PG #9 Parker  


Lakers Steve Blake
(abdominal strain) is questionable.
Kobe Bryant
(strained & bruised right foot) is day-to-day.
Jordan Hill
(herniated disc) is probable.
Steve Nash
(non-displaced fracture, left leg) is out.
Jazz DeJuan Blair
(Left Knee Contusion) is probable.

11/13 - SAS @ LAL
01/09 - LAL @ SAS
04/14 - SAC @ LAL