Lakers Gameday | 01/14/09 | Spurs 112, Lakers 111
Western Conference Standing : 1
Streak: Lost 1
San Antonio Spurs
Western Conference Standing : 3
Streak: Won 1
|Injury Report||Injury Report|
---Francisco Gomez, Lakers.com
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Quotes
|Los Angeles Lakers||San Antonio Spurs|
Spurs beat Lakers in Western finals rematch
SAN ANTONIO(AP) Roger Mason hit a jumper with 10 seconds left and made a free throw after being fouled by Derek Fisher, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers 112-111 on Wednesday night in the first meeting between the teams since the Western Conference finals.
After Mason's three-point play, the Lakers failed to get a shot off when Trevor Ariza was called for traveling with .8 left.
The Lakers rallied from 11 points behind in the fourth quarter and led when Kobe Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left.
The Spurs called timeout and worked the ball over the Mason in the corner, where he was bumped from behind by Fisher while shooting from about 16 feet.
It was Fisher who was not called for a foul when Brent Barry tried to get off a last-second shot for the Spurs last year in the conference-finals series.
"I saw him try to reach for the ball,'' Mason said. "I wanted to get a little contact and then get the shot off. When I fell down, I looked up and saw it go in.
"I just didn't want to ruin it (by missing the free throw). I knew we needed that point.''
Mason, signed by the Spurs as a free agent after playing in Washington, also hit a last-second 3-pointer to beat Phoenix on the road on Christmas Day.
Manu Ginobili led San Antonio with 27 points, and Bryant had 29 for Los Angeles. The Lakers lost for only the second time in their last 12 games.
The Lakers won the playoff series last year in five games losing the NBA finals to Boston. The Lakers and Spurs will play twice more this season.
Ginobili, the Sixth Man of the Year last season, was 9-of-15 from the field in his usual role off the bench for the Spurs, 10-2 in their last 12 and 25-12 overall.
The Spurs led 102-91 early in the fourth quarter on Tony Parker's layup. But the Lakers scored nine straight points to cut it to 102-100 with 4:45 left.
Notes: Robert Horry, who won NBA titles while playing for both the Lakers and Spurs, attended the game. ... Bryant wore a small bandage along his right eye to protect the stitches put in after he was cut during a head-to-head collision with Miami's Dwyane Wade on Sunday. ... Lakers G Sasha Vujacic sat out his second straight game because of back spasms.
Copyright 2008 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
Lakers - Spurs Preview
The San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers have ruled the Western Conference for most of the last decade, combining for nine of the last 10 conference titles and seven league championships in that span.
The way both are playing to start 2009, it wouldn't be surprising to see that trend continue this spring.
Their season series will begin on Wednesday in San Antonio, as the teams meet for the first time since Los Angeles quickly ousted the Spurs in last season's conference finals.
Los Angeles came within two games of its fourth NBA title of the decade last season, but lost to Boston in the finals. Over the past 10 seasons, they remain one championship shy of San Antonio's four league titles since 1999.
Last May's series marked the sixth playoff meeting in the last decade for these clubs, which again appear to be the class of the West.
Coach Phil Jackson's Lakers have emerged as the team to beat after eliminating the Spurs 4-1 last season and charging to a 31-6 start to 2008-09.
"They're the best team in the West, maybe the best team in the league, and that says it all," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They've done a great job at both ends of the court, and they knocked us out of the playoffs last year, so we know as much or more than anybody how good they are."
The Lakers have won four straight games and 10 of their last 11, averaging 108.5 points over that span -- more than 30 of them per game from Kobe Bryant.
Bryant had 33 in Los Angeles' 105-100 win at Houston on Tuesday. Although he made just 13 of his season-high 32 shot attempts, the reigning NBA MVP scored 13 points in the fourth quarter including a key 3-pointer with 27 seconds to play.
"My shots felt good, they just weren't going in for me," Bryant said. "Once the fourth quarter came around, I had to focus even more to try to put the ball in the hole."
The Spurs (24-12) faltered in the final quarter of their most recent game, giving up 31 points en route to a 105-98 home loss to Orlando on Sunday. Tony Parker's 31 total points weren't enough for San Antonio, which has won nine of its last 11 games despite the setback.
Manu Ginobili, who missed time early this season with an ankle injury, continues to struggle to get untracked. He's shooting a career-worst 33.3 percent from 3-point range and averaging 14.5 points -- five fewer than last season.
"I am still not feeling like myself last season at this point," said Ginobili, who played through injury in the postseason and was held to 10 or fewer points in four of the five games against the Lakers.
"I am physically pretty good. Nothing is hurting," Ginobili added. "It's just a bit of probably mental and other confidence."
On Wednesday, the Spurs may lean on Tim Duncan, who has averaged 23.0 points and 12.8 rebounds in 68 career games against Los Angeles including playoffs.
The home team won all four games in the 2007-08 regular-season series.
"It tells you where you stand," Ginobili said of facing the Lakers. "... It makes you see the mistakes you made, how far you are from them and stuff like that. I wish we played them 10 times (per season)."
NOTES & CONNECTIONS
The Lakers split their season series with the Spurs 2-2 after winning last season’s series 2-1 for the first time since 2003-04 (3-1). The Lakers are 5-5 against the Spurs in their last 10 games and have won their last two straight at STAPLES Center. Overall, the Lakers are 8-10 all-time against the Spurs at STAPLES Center and have gone 4-6 in their last 10 home games. In San Antonio, the Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 meetings with the Spurs but have split their last four games at AT&T Center (2-2). Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 14-17 against San Antonio in the regular season. In the postseason, Jackson is 15-7 against the Spurs, advancing to the next round in four of five series meetings. In 42 career games including 37 starts against San Antonio, Bryant is averaging 24.8 points per game. In four games last season against San Antonio, Bryant averaged 24.3 points. Spurs guard/forward Ime Udoka played in four games for the Lakers during the 2003-04 season, posting eight points, five rebounds and two assists in 28 total minutes. Manu Ginobili played for Argentina in the 2008 Beijing Olympics but suffered a foot injury in their August 22 meeting with Kobe Bryant’s United States team that forced him to miss the first 12 games of the regular season with San Antonio. Bryant scored 12 points as the U.S. defeated defending champion Argentina 101-81 to advance to the gold medal game while Ginobili played just six minutes due to injury.
LAKERS SCOUTING REPORT
Check back soon for our scouting report against the San Antonio Spurs.
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