The Lakers continued on their tailspin as they lost to the Rockets on Tuesday night. Overall, that was their fourth straight loss and they fell to 15-19. While they weren’t exactly expected to win that game, it was still disappointing to see them get away from what got them an earlier lead: ball movement and a semblance of defense.
And there’s no rest for these Lakers. They faced the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. The Lakers look to avenge their earlier loss but things were much different then. They seemed a little more free under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff and they had a plethora of bigs playing at the time. This game? No Dwight, no Pau, and no Jordan Hill. Let’s see how they did against the San Antonio Spurs.
To nobody’s surprise, the Lakers struggled against the Spurs. Tony Parker was getting to his spots whenever he wanted and Tim Duncan was schooling the rookie Robert Sacre. I know fans were hopeful but this was ridiculous.
@lakersnation We expect SacreSanity.
— Poonchee (@Poonchee) January 10, 2013
Metta World Peace carried the offense early, scoring the first seven points for the City of Angels. Steve Nash even had this little gem.
The Lakers had a couple of nice defensive plays but the Spurs still had control for most of the first quarter. L.A. shot poorly (7-18, .389) in that period and trail the San Antonio Spurs, 24-17. Maybe they shouldn’t leave the perimeter open so… never mind. They don’t hear me.
The early quarter had the soon-to-be-legendary Earl Clark Vs Tiago Splitter battle.
Tiago Splitter might drop 40 on the Lakers tonight.
— Connor Christeson (@ConRC) January 10, 2013
Then somehow the Lakers went on a 9-2 run that included the likes of Clark and Robert Sacre. In fact, Earl Clark had this coast-to-coast lay-up.
But the Spurs quickly got the lead back to seven after several lapses on the defensive end (what else is new?!). As much as it’s enjoyable to see Clark and Sacre make baskets, it’s for naught when they’re giving away point just as easily.
Shockingly, Kobe took a charge against Tony Parker. He then followed it up with a dribbling exhibition and a lay-up against Kawhi Leonard.
But Manu Ginobili stayed hot, punctuating the half with a dunk as he scored 10 of the last 12 Spurs points. The Spurs led the Lakers at the half, 54-45. Nice defense, L.A., as always (Spurs shot .512 at the half).
The Spurs got off to a good start as they made their way inside for short jumpers and lay-ups. It got even worse when Kobe Bryant tried to play free safety and left Danny Green open for a three-pointer.
Congrats Kobe, you just gave up another Wide Open Three.
— Jeff King (@ZephidFB_G) January 10, 2013
The Lakers were getting a little frustrated as Darius Morris and Kobe got technical fouls. In the meantime, Tony Parker continued to get inside the paint at will while Kawhi Leonard made a big stepback three-pointer. Kobe Bryant was getting a little more angry so he pulled up from 35 feet and sank a three-pointer. Then Danny Green and Kobe traded more threes. But the Lakers were still down by double-digits.
“The Lakers are back within ten!” – The Lakers’ 2012-13 season in a nutshell
— netw3rk (@netw3rk) January 10, 2013
The Lakers basically became the Kobe show, which was what the Spurs probably wanted. Five-on-one wasn’t going to work. Tony Parker’s jumpers and Kawhi Leonard’s three-pointer gave the Spurs a 17-point lead.
Kobe continued to gun, for better or worse. He ended up with 14 points in the third quarter and had 22 overall. But the Lakers lost their composure on some points in the period; they were called for three technical fouls (Duhon got the third). Despite Kobe throwing fireballs in the third, the Spurs still led at the end of three, 85-75.
Earl Clark continued his career night by scoring the first four points of the fourth quarter for the Lakers. However, the Spurs kept getting open three-pointers and kept the lead at double-digits.
Watching the Lakers this year is like watching deer drag its run over legs across a busy highway. Its just sad
— Mr. Dive In(@AyeMatt_) January 10, 2013
San Antonio made four straight three-pointers (three by Stephen Jackson). That almost put the game out of reach.
Almost because the Lakers went on an amazing 13-2 run. Amazing because this hasn’t happened much with the Lakers. Manu Ginobili made a three-pointer to put the lead back to six. Somehow, Earl Clark countered with a three-pointer of his own to cut the lead in half. Then Tony Parker drove and kicked the ball to nobody. The Lakers had a chance to tie the game with 10.4 seconds left. But Kobe Bryant and Earl Clark missed desperation threes.
The Spurs beat the Lakers, 108-105. Not many expected the Lakers to win but they had a great fight at the end. Earl Clark had an insane game with 22 points and 13 boards. Still, this is frustrating for the Lakers and Lakers Nation.
POINTS: Kobe Bryant, 27.
REBOUNDS: Earl Clark, 13.
ASSISTS: Steve Nash, 9.
BLOCKS: Two players with one each.
STEALS: Metta World Peace, 7.