Spurs 108, Lakers 105By Danny Sanchez, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Wed, Jan 9, 2013 11:00 PM EST
SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs got 22 points from Tony Parker and extended their home winning streak to 11 games in defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 108-105 Wednesday night at the AT&T Center. Parker was 10 of 16 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line as San Antonio improved to 28-10. They needed every point, as the Spurs nearly wasted a 16-point fourth-quarter lead. Kobe Bryant, ever the competitor, closed the gap to five when he hit a 3-pointer midway in the fourth. A technical-foul free throw by Steve Nash cut the lead to five, 105-100, with three minutes left. Manu Ginobili hit a crucial 3-pointer to give the Spurs a 108-102 lead with 40 seconds remaining, and 10 seconds later, Earl Clark cut it to three on a 3-point basket of his own. But it wasn't enough as the Lakers had two chances to tie the game, and both Bryant's and Clark's 3-point attempts both rimmed off. The struggling and shorthanded Lakers were fighting for a much-needed win. Los Angeles, on a six-game losing streak, was without its two All-Star big men -- Dwight Howard (torn labrum) and Pau Gasol (concussion). Up by 10 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Spurs went with what has got them on the hot streak all season -- the 3-point shot. They were 12 of 25 from the 3-point line and the league leaders in assists, they dished out 25. Steven Jackson had 14 off the bench, including three 3-pointers in the final period, but the most important 3-pointer was Ginobili's. Jackson also had two technical fouls in the fourth quarter and was ejected. Tiago Splitter had 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Ginobili had 19, Gary Neal 12 and Kawhi Leonard 11. Los Angeles again turned to Bryant, who has carried the team and the 15-20 record. He couldn't find his shot in the first half, notching only two field goals, going 2-for-6. Then he came alive in the third quarter, scoring 13 points, including consecutive 3-pointers to pull the Lakers within 10. Bryant led the Lakers with 27 points, with Metta World Peace adding 23, Earl Clark 22 and Steve Nash 14. San Antonio welcomed the return home after losing two of its last three, including a loss Monday to the Western Conference's last-place team, New Orleans. San Antonio closed the half with a Ginobili dunk, the second of the game for the 34-year-old, as the Spurs went into the locker room up 54-45. Ginobili and Splitter each had 12 first-half points, while Parker dropped 10. World Peace had 11 to keep the Lakers in the contest. NOTES: The Lakers were very animated as three players got tagged with technical fouls in the third quarter for disputing a call. Kobe Bryant, Chris Duhon and Darius Morris each were assessed a technical foul. ... On Tuesday, Steve Nash became the fifth player to reach 10,000 assists, reaching the milestone in the Lakers' 125-112 loss to the Houston Rockets. He entered play Wednesday needing 136 assists to pass Magic Johnson for fourth place. ... Despite losing two of its last three games before Wednesday, San Antonio still entered the night tied for first in the NBA with 27 wins. ... Los Angeles was on an unusual skid. The last time the Lakers had a five-game losing streak was April 3-10, 2011. ... The Lakers and Spurs have met in the playoffs 11 times, which is more than any other matchup in postseason history.
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