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Spurs 91, Lakers 85

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Parker scored 24 points and Manu Ginobili came off the bench to deliver 20 more as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 91-85 on Friday night at Staples Center.

Kawhi Leonard added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs (2-0), who handed the Lakers (1-2) their second consecutive defeat after a season-opening romp over the L.A. Clippers on Tuesday night.

Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 20 points and 11 boards.

The Lakers held an 80-78 lead after a three-point play by Jodie Meeks with 3:55 remaining in the game, but faded down the stretch. Parker, Boris Diaw, who hit a big three-point shot with less than two minutes left, and Tiago Splitter sparked a 9-1 Spurs run for 87-81 lead with a little more than a minute.

Los Angeles led by as much as 15 in the first half after two free throws by Xavier Henry gave them a 33-18 lead with 8:32 left in the second quarter. But the Spurs rallied, cutting the deficit to 42-41 at the half.

The Lakers built their double-digit advantage largely on the Spurs' early shooting woes. San Antonio managed just 7 of 28 attempts (25 percent) in the first quarter before rebounding to hit 11 of 21 (52.4 percent) in the second quarter to finish the half hitting 18 of 49 (36.7 percent). Parker led the way with 12 points on 6 of 11 shooting.

The Lakers started well, but converted just 5 of 20 shots (25 percent) in the second quarter and 13 of 40 shots (32.5 percent) in the half. Gasol had 11 of his points in the half.

The Spurs outscored the Lakers 22-19 in the third quarter to take a 63-61 lead heading into the fourth.

The Spurs played without Tim Duncan, who missed the game with a chest contusion suffered in Wednesday's season-opening win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Duncan is listed as day-to-day.

Steve Nash returned to the Lakers' starting lineup after being held out of Wednesday's game at Golden State because the club wants to limit his play in back-to-back games. Nash scored only five points and recorded five assists in 23 minutes against the Spurs.

NOTES: Bryant spoke with the media before the game, saying the recovery from his torn Achilles tendon continues to progress. "I'm running a little bit more and being a little more aggressive," he said. Bryant added that it would take him three weeks of conditioning to return. He counted the past week as one of them, immediately generating speculation from reporters about his return in two weeks. "This is turning into a press conference," he joked before refusing again to give a date for his return. ... Friday's game marked the first time that both Duncan and Bryant had missed a game between the two clubs since 1996. ... The Spurs will complete their first back-to-back games of the season on Saturday at Portland. ... The Lakers play host to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday before embarking on a three-game trip to Dallas on Tuesday, Houston on Thursday and New Orleans on Friday.
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