Lakers Gameday | 01/12/10 | Spurs
Play by Play
- GAME RECAP
- GAME PREVIEW
- INJURY REPORT
- GAME NOTES
Duncan, Parker lead Spurs over Lakers
By PAUL J. WEBER
Posted Jan 12 2010 11:14PM
SAN ANTONIO(AP) Tim Duncan had 25 points and 13 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs showed they can still hang with their Western Conference rivals in a 105-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
Tony Parker scored 22 as the Spurs got their biggest victory this season. The Lakers are just the fourth winning team San Antonio has beaten, but none the caliber of the defending NBA champions.
Kobe Bryant had another off game, scoring 16 points. He again wore a thick splint over his broken right index finger.
The Spurs and Lakers dominated the last decade, winning seven titles between them. The Lakers whittled a 22-point deficit to six late in the first meeting of this decade, but it was a rout by the end.
Bryant, who scored just 12 on 4-of-21 shooting in a win over Milwaukee on Sunday, had another slow night. He took a season-low 10 shots from the field, hitting seven of them.
Bryant has said that keeping his finger covered gives it more strength and protection, but he admits it affects his touch.
Andrew Bynum scored 23 points and Ron Artest had 13 for the Lakers. Los Angeles has lost three of four - its worst slump yet by the standards of the NBA's best team.
Few teams, meanwhile, have been hotter over the last month than San Antonio.
The Spurs are 14-4 since Dec. 9, trailing only Cleveland (15-4) for the best record over that stretch. None of those wins were as satisfying - or as much a relief - as this one.
The Spurs (23-13) have built their winning record on the backs of weak competition, going 19-2 against teams with losing records. But they've wilted consistently against winning teams, including a loss Friday against Dallas.
But the Spurs had been looking forward to this litmus test. They spent lavishly last summer for the unsaid purpose of keeping up with the Lakers, and here was a chance to show if they got their money's worth.
Instead, their older investments led this win.
Duncan was 12 of 19 from the field while Parker shot 10 of 18. Parker scored nine points in the fourth quarter.
Richard Jefferson, added this summer to add more offensive punch, scored 12. George Hill had 13.
This wasn't the same Lakers team the Spurs are likely see again later. Besides Bryant's hurt hand, Pau Gasol has missed the last five games with a strained left hamstring. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Gasol has his sights on returning Friday against the Clippers.
Notes: F Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) made his first appearance in nearly eight weeks, scoring four points and grabbing a rebound in six minutes. ... With the loss, the Lakers were denied their first crack at becoming the only NBA franchise with 3,000 victories. They'll try again Wednesday at Dallas.
Copyright 2010 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 Head Coach Phil Jackson
(On Kobe’s injury tonight)
“He got locked up in the third quarter. He had a (back) spasm in the second quarter and then came out. He came back and tried to play and obviously he wasn’t right.”
(on tonight’s game)
“They took our kids to school. They pulled some of the tricks that they are known for. They got easy shots and got themselves going. We came back and didn’t operate very well in the offense. In the second half we got it to within six points and then we made some turnovers that put the game out of reach.”
(when asked if the Spurs taking a lot of shots was because of the Spurs or something the Lakers were doing)
“They’re a good shooting team. But the easy shots we can’t give up.”
(on Bynum tonight)
“He did a pretty good job. He had four shots that were in and out that could of made it a great game, but it made it so-so game.”
(When asked what he thought of the “new look” Spurs)
“I didn’t see anything new out there. It’s the same old group. Jefferson hit a couple of threes, he hit a three late. I liked Hill’s game; he did a really nice job. Parker got going in the second half and Duncan had a good first half.”
Lakers Andrew Bynum
(On how he’s feeling)
“It felt good. You got to give it to them…their team defense and offensive execution. They were hurting us. We got the game to six and then they won by 20, so that’s crazy.”
(On their injuries)
“We got a lot of little injuries…they type that you can play with but can’t be very efficient.”
(On Kobe’s injury)
“I think he’s going be able to play through it. I’m not sure what happened. I just saw him go down.”
(On going against Duncan)
“It was fun. It’s always a fun game. We definitely go hard at each other. I think today in the first half I wasn’t being aggressive enough defensively.”
(Is it injuries or just playing poorly?)
“It’s both right now. We got to really come together as a unit and play some basketball more efficient. We have to be more efficient on offense. As far as defense we let those screen-and-rolls bother us. Then we’d stop the screen-and-roll and they would swing it to the weak side and somebody’s wide open.”
Lakers Ron Artest
(On his finger and whether or not he’ll play tomorrow)
“It’s not even important. You have to ask the trainers. I just play. I don’t worry about my finger.”
(On the game tonight)
“They had fun tonight. They had fun. They played well. Rebounded. Duncan played really well. For a guy that was banged up he’s coming along now. They beat us.”
(On their road losing streak…injuries or bad play?)
“No excuses. We’re just losing. Teams are beating us. We’re trying to win and we’re just not winning on the road right now. The most important thing you can do is turn it around the next game and play hard and get on a streak. We have a chance.”
Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich
“We played well tonight. They obviously were wounded. Both facts are true and we’re happy to get the win.”
(On George Hill)
“He did a fine job tonight in a lot of ways.”
(On Richard Jefferson)
“He’s got a good feel for the game. He knows how to play. His personality is great. He’s a team player and a willing learner. He’s just going to get better and better as the year goes along and he gets more familiar with our system.”
(On the importance of this win)
“Everybody needs a win against a good team. Again, we played well and they were wounded obviously. In the end, you still need to win the game.”
(On Tony Parker)
“We like when Tony shoots. Some games (this season) he hasn’t felt it for whatever reason. He needs to be aggressive. That’s important for us.”
Spurs Keith Bogans
(on tonight’s win against the Lakers)
It’s a big win. We wanted to come out and play well against a good team like the Lakers and I think we did that tonight. We wanted to start with defense. We have so many offensive weapons that when we get our defense going, our offense will take care of itself. We put more focus on defense and getting a stop than anything we do on offense.
(on improving as a team)
We are going to keep getting better each day. We aren’t going to worry about what other people say we just have to take care of what we have to take care of. We are headed up. I think once everyone comes together, we are still all learning a lot, once we come together we can only go up.
Spurs Richard Jefferson
(on the team’s record vs. those above .500)
If we have the best record in the NBA against teams above .500, are they going to give us an award for the month or a championship? No. Our job is to continue getting better until the playoffs start and even when the playoffs start, the intensity level goes up every game and every round. If we aren’t playing as well as we would like with all of the new guys that we have here, in terms of record against .500 or record on back-to-backs, at the end of the day we are three or four in the conference with all of the new guys that we have. We feel like we have gotten better over the last month. That’s about all we can ask.
(on the play of Tony Parker)
You have to understand that his numbers can’t be based on ‘last year he averaged this’ or ‘he is only averaging this’. Tony, just like a lot of other guys on this team are going to judged on the win/loss column and how we play. He had a career year last year - a lot of that was because of injuries - and he rose to the occasion because he is such a talented player. But with the amount of guys he has here, he is learning to pick his spots, to dominate when he needs to be dominant, instead of coming out all game long and having to. That just shows his growth and maturity.
Lakers vs. Spurs Game Preview
By MATT BEARDMORE
Posted Jan 12 2010 12:43AM
The Los Angeles Lakers haven't lost four in a row on the road in nearly three years. That could remain the case with the defending champions heading to San Antonio to face a Spurs squad that's struggled against the league's top teams.
The Lakers and Spurs meet at AT&T Center on Tuesday night in the first of four regular-season matchups.
Los Angeles (29-8) has the best overall record in the NBA, but it's in danger of dropping four in a row on the road for the first time since a five-game slide from March 4-15, 2007.
"We've lost a couple on the road now," coach Phil Jackson said following Monday's practice. "We have to figure out some of the things we have to do."
Improving their shooting should be near the top of that list. Los Angeles is hitting 40.6 percent from the field while dropping two of three overall. Kobe Bryant, among the league leaders with 29.6 points per game, hasn't been immune to the team's cold shooting. He's shot 33.3 percent over his last four games while dealing with a finger injury he admits has affected his form.
Bryant missed 17 of 21 shots and scored 12 points in Sunday's 95-77 victory over Milwaukee. It was the worst shooting game of Bryant's career when he's taken more than 16 shots.
"I played with the splint off. We put it back on in the second half,'' Bryant said of his broken right index finger. "Just trying to get a little bit more flexibility back. The finger felt pretty good, so we tried to go without the splint. It's just not strong enough."
San Antonio (22-13), though, likely won't underestimate Bryant, who is averaging 27.3 points and shooting 51.0 percent in his last seven games in San Antonio, which includes two in the 2008 Western Conference finals. The Spurs are 4-3 in those games.
"The type of player (Bryant) is, he's going to come out strong and definitely do better than he did last game," veteran guard Keith Bogans said Monday. "I hope my teammates help me out, because he's almost impossible to stop 1-on-1."
The way the Spurs have played against teams with winning records, they would gladly give up a big game from Bryant in exchange for a victory. San Antonio has won 13 of 17 overall, but four of its last five victories have come against teams currently 11 games below .500 or worse, including a 97-85 win over New Jersey on Sunday.
The Spurs have lost four of five against current division leaders this season, and they haven't beaten a team that currently has a winning record since a 92-84 victory at Houston on Nov. 27.
"We haven't put a game together the right way," said Tim Duncan, who averaged 17.0 points and 9.7 rebounds as the Spurs dropped two of three to the Lakers last season. "Defensively, we're not where we need to be. Offensively, we're kind of up and down. There's a lot of things now we need to learn as a team, and hopefully we can clean up those things in the coming games.
"It's a process, and it's one that every one of us want to accelerate as soon as possible."
The Spurs could benefit if Pau Gasol misses his fifth straight game with a sore left hamstring, but Andrew Bynum is averaging 17.3 points and 13.0 boards in Gasol's absence. Bynum, who grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds Sunday, will go for his fourth consecutive double-double Tuesday after not posting one in his previous 23 games.
The Lakers will get their first look at Richard Jefferson in a Spurs uniform. Jefferson, acquired from Milwaukee last offseason, is shooting 55.3 percent from the field in his last five games, but he is having one of his worst seasons at 13.2 points per contest.
Los Angeles and San Antonio meet again Feb. 8 at Staples Center.
Copyright 2010 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
Kobe Bryant (avulsion fracture, right index finger) will play.
Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) is doubtful.
Pau Gasol (strained left hamstring) is doubtful.
Michael Finley (sprained left ankle) is out.
Matt Bonner (broken fourth metacarpal, right hand) is out.
SEASON & SERIES
The Lakers took last season’s series with the Spurs 2-1, after splitting the 2007-08 season series 2-2. The Lakers are 6-4 against the Spurs in their last 10 games and have won their last three straight at STAPLES Center. Overall, the Lakers are 9-10 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, with Los Angeles breaking a three-game skid in San Antonio with a 102-95 victory in their most recent meeting on 3/12/09. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 16-18 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 45 career games including 40 starts against San Antonio, Bryant is averaging 24.8 points per game. 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. Additionally, Luke Walton and the Spurs Richard Jefferson were roommates and played three years at the University of Arizona.
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM
With a victory over Milwaukee on January 10, the Lakers snapped their SECOND two-game losing streak of the season. Last season, the Lakers suffered just FOUR two- game losing streaks all season, a mark which was historically good. According to Philadelphia 76ers stats guru Harvey Pollack, no team has gone through a season without a single two-game losing streak; six teams have had just one two-game skid, 13 teams (including the 1949-50 and 1986-87 Lakers) have had two two-game losing streaks, 11 (including the 1971-72, 1989-90 and 1999-00 Lakers) have had three two-game streaks and five teams, including last season’s 2008-09 Lakers championship squad, went through a season with four two-game losing streaks total.
Since the acquisition of Pau Gasol on February 1, 2008, the Lakers have yet to lose three consecutive games. Los Angeles has now lost two-straight games 10 times overall since acquiring Gasol (8 regular season, 2 playoff streaks). Of those 10 two-game losing skids, the Lakers have played the third game of the streak without Gasol four times, snapping two-game losing streaks with victories 3/18/08 at Dallas, 3/30/08 vs. Washington in overtime, 11/17/09 vs. Detroit and 1/10/10 vs. Milwaukee. The Lakers last three-game losing streak came just a week before the trade, with consecutive losses at San Antonio, at Dallas and vs. Cleveland from 1/23/08 through 1/27/08.
Tuesday’s game in San Antonio is the first of a back-to-back set with the Spurs and Mavericks. This season, the Lakers are 7-2 in the first game and 6-3 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 20 sets of back-to-back games, the most the team has played in a single season since playing 22 sets of back-to- backs during the 1999-00 campaign. Last year, the Lakers played 19 sets of back-to-backs, going 14-5 in the first game and 14-5 in the second as well. Charlotte, Detroit and Milwaukee lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2009-10 while New Orleans (15) and San Antonio (17) will play the fewest sets this season.
WITH OR WITHOUT PAU
After missing the Lakers first 11 games of 2009-10 with a strained right hamstring, Pau Gasol made his season debut 11/19 vs. Chicago, playing 22 games before missing the Lakers last four games (1/5/10 - 1/10/10) with a strained left hamstring. In 22 games with Pau in the lineup this season, the Lakers are 19-3 while defeating teams by an average of 9.9 points per game (218). Additionally, in games which Gasol has played, all five starters have scored in double-figures five times and five or more Lakers have posted double-figures 13 times. In the 15 games this season without him in the lineup, only twice have the Lakers have five players score in double-figures. In games played without Gasol since he joined the Lakers, Los Angeles is 17-9 overall (6-4 in 2007-08, 1-0 in 2008-09 and 10-5 in 2009-10). With Gasol in the lineup, the Lakers are 105-25 (.808) in the regular season since he joined the team in February of 2008 (22-5 in 2007-08, 64-17 in 2008-09 and 19-3 in 2009-10) and 30-14 (.682) in the playoffs.
BRYANT NEARS 25,000 CAREER POINTS
With 24,914 career points, Kobe Bryant is now 86 points shy of 25,000 for his career. Should Bryant reach the 25,000-point milestone, he will become the 15th NBA player in the league’s history to do so. Currently 31 years and 141 days of age as of January 11th, should Bryant reach 25,000 points in the next month, he would become the youngest player in NBA history to do so, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 186 days). Karl Malone (33 years, 228 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 249 days) are the second and third youngest respectively to reach the 25,000 points milestone. In terms of games, Bryant (985 games) should become the 9th fastest to 25,000 career points, behind Dominique Wilkins (960) but ahead of Hakeem Olajuwon (1,057). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest in terms of games to reach 25,000 points, doing so in 691 games. Michael Jordan (782) and Abdul-Jabbar (889) rank second and third behind Chamberlain.
Earlier this season, with a second-quarter basket November 6th against the Grizzlies, Kobe Bryant (31 years, 75 days) became the youngest player in NBA history to score 24,000 points, reaching the milestone ahead of Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 113 days). In terms of games, of the 17 players to now have scored 24,000 points, Bryant is the 9th fastest to do so in terms of games (954). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest in league history to score 24,000 points, doing so in just 653 games.
Last season, with 34 points February 10 vs. Oklahoma City, Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to score 23,000 points (30 years, 171 days), reaching the milestone FIVE days younger than Wilt Chamberlain (30 years, 176 days). In terms of games, of the 21 players to score 23,000 points, Bryant was the 11th fastest to do so, reaching the mark in 917 games. Earlier in the year, with 28 points December 2 at Indiana, Bryant became the 22nd player in NBA history to score 22,000 points and in doing so, became the 2nd youngest player ever to 22,000 points (30 years, 101 days), one day older than Wilt Chamberlain (30 years, 100 days) who scored his 22,000th point on 11/26/66. The youngest player in league history to accumulate 15,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 24,000 points, Bryant became the 12th fastest to 22,000 points in terms of games, reaching the mark in 881 career games. Through his career, Bryant has been 29th fastest to 15,000, 22nd fastest to 16,000, 20th fastest to 17,000, 16th fastest to 18,000, 15th fastest to 19,000, 15th fastest to 20,000, 12th fastest to 21,000, 12th fastest to 22,000 and 11th fastest to 23,000 points in terms of games.
FISHER & BRYANT EACH CONVERT FOUR-POINT PLAYS IN SAME GAME
In the Lakers January 8th loss at Portland, Derek Fisher (first quarter) and Kobe Bryant (fourth quarter) each converted four-point plays, marking the 29th and 30th four- point plays in Lakers franchise history (regular season and playoffs included). It also marked just the second time in franchise history that two Lakers converted a four-point play in the same game (Bryant and Sasha Vujacic 3/25/07 vs. Golden State). Bryant (11) and Fisher (6) have now combined for 17 of the team’s 30 four-point plays. Bryant owns the most four-point plays in team history with 11 overall (8 regular, 3 postseason), followed by Fisher (6) and Vujacic (5 regular, 1 postseason).