Game Recap: Spurs Too Good Down The Stretch, Close Out Lakers
The elation following the impressive opening night win against the Los Angeles Clippers was quickly extinguished thanks to a drubbing at the hands of the Golden State Warriors the following night. Tonight the Lakers look to gain revenge on the team who swept them out of the playoffs last season, the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs will be without starting center Tim Duncan tonight so the Lakers must look to take advantage. The Spurs still have the speedy Tony Parker along with up-and-coming wing Kawhi Leonard so the Lakers will have to be on their game to come away with the win.
Couple of early misses by both teams before Gasol starts the scoring with a three pointer. Tony Parker comes back with consecutive baskets to give the Spurs a quick 4-3 lead. Great pass from Blake to Gasol gives the Lakers a three point lead. Spurs can’t buy a bucket and four Nick Young points give the Lakers an 11-4 lead. More missed shots and a traveling call on the Spurs followed by a Nash midrange jumper who’s extremely aggressive early. Parker wide open for a midrange shot to cut the lead to five at 13-8. Wesley Johnson enters the game for the Lakers. Beautiful pass from Ginobili to Leonard for a layup. Lakers very active on defense challenging every shot. Neither team shooting well from the floor. Bench mob on the floor after the timeout with Henry, Farmar, Kaman, and Meeks joining Wesley on the floor. Ginboli three is followed by a Farmar layup and the Lakers lead 19-13. Great pick and roll with Farmar and Kaman leads to Kaman jumper. Beautiful ball movement leads to a Johnson layup. AMAZING block from behind by Wesley Johnson. Couple more missed shots by each team ends the quarter and the Lakers lead 23-16.
Spurs start the quarter with a turnover. No scoring until back-to-back threes from Farmar and Meeks followed by a steal and easy dunk from Meeks to push the lead to 13. Couple empty possessions by each team. Delay in action as Henry runs into Johnson’s leg and opens up a huge gash on his forehead. Great give and go to Parker followed by a Parker runner cuts the Laker lead to 11. Danny Green hits a three pointer to cap a quick Spurs 7-0 run and the Lakers lead 33-25. Nash, Blake, Gasol return and Johnson gets a layup on the pick and roll. Consecutive three-point plays by Leonard and Splitter cut the lead to four as the Lakers have lost all of the energy since the Henry injury. Parker getting every shot he wants as the lead is down to two thanks to a 15-2 Spur run. Gasol with a Nash-like finger roll and the Lakers lead by four. Splitter grabs his fifth offensive rebound of the half and his putback cuts the lead back to two. Splitter runner cuts the lead to one as the Spurs end the quarter on a 23-11 run.
The Lakers get a couple of three pointers to start the half from Shawne Williams and Steve Blake, but their defense is not sharp to start the half and a Kawhi Leonard layup ties the game at 50. Some sloppy play by both teams full of missed shots and turnovers. Parker and Gasol trade jumpers and we’re still tied at 52. Parker puts Nash ‘in the popcorn machine’ for an easy layup but Blake answers with a three pointer and the Lakers are back up one. Bench mob in after the timeout with the Lakers down by three. Two Leonard free throws give the Spurs a five point lead but Kaman’s jumper brings the lead right back to three and the Lakers force another Spur turnover. The gash does not affect Henry as he immediately attacks the basket and draws a foul. The teams trade missed fast break layups as the offenses have stagnated for both teams before a Diaw three point play. Jodie Meeks with a fast break layup at the buzzer but still trail the Spurs 63-61 heading into the fourth.
Wesley Johnson with a huge three right before the shot clock expires to get the scoring going in the fourth. Johnson with another layup to give the Lakers the lead but Diaw puts the Spurs right back on top. Jordan Hill enters the game for the first time and gets a layup on a broken play. A turnover and Patty Mills layup puts the Spurs back ahead by two. Johnson is heating up as he hits another three pointer but goaltends on the other end. Hill is active as he grabs another offensive rebound and a layup on consecutive possessions before drawing a loose ball foul. Hill hits one of two free throws to cut the Spurs lead to one. Gasol with a wide open jumper and the Lakers lead by one with four minutes left. Meeks with an impressive runner and the foul to give the Lakers a two point lead. Hill with another offensive rebound but travels and we remained tied with less than three minutes. Johnson with a great block on Leonard that leads to a jump ball which the Spurs control and Parker knocks down a jumper to give the Spurs the lead followed by Gasol drawing a foul and knocking down one of two free throws to cut the lead to one. Diaw with a huge three to push the Spurs lead to four. Splitter with a tip in to push the lead to six with only one minute left. The Spurs held on against the Lakers for a 91-85 win.