LOS ANGELES -- The San Antonio Spurs dominated the depleted Los Angeles Lakers to take a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference playoff quarterfinal matchup with a 120-89 win on Friday night at Staples Center.
Facing a Lakers squad on its last legs -- almost literally, with little-used Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris thrust into starting backcourt roles -- the Spurs showed little mercy in breaking a six-game road playoff losing streak in Los Angeles and handing the Lakers their worst playoff loss in history.
San Antonio built a nine-point lead less than seven minutes into the game, increased the advantage to 12 to take a 30-18 lead after one quarter and led by as many as 18 points in the first half as the Lakers had little to look to on the bench.
In the absence of Steve Nash (hamstring), Steve Blake (hamstring) and Jodie Meeks (ankle), and the looming absence of Kobe Bryant (Achilles'), Los Angeles had just three bench players log major minutes, and the Spurs capitalized.
San Antonio's bench outscored the Lakers' reserves 46-9 as Los Angeles was forced to rely on a hastily assembled starting lineup.
While the Lakers' first unit was surprisingly productive -- Goudelock and Morris combined for 44 points -- the Spurs were rested and ready, playing 10 players more than 14 minutes.
Tim Duncan led the San Antonio effort with 26 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field and nine rebounds in just 31 minutes. Tony Parker had 20 points and seven assists but five turnovers, and DeJuan Blair added 13 points off the bench for San Antonio.
Dwight Howard had 25 points and 11 rebounds despite foul trouble to lead the Lakers. Morris had 24 points and six assists and Goudelock added 20 for Los Angeles, which shot just 43 percent from the field and 4 of 20 from 3-point range.
NOTES: While the Lakers were without a bevy of players, San Antonio was without Boris Diaw (back) and the recently signed Tracy McGrady. ... San Antonio won the season series 2-1 after also taking two of three from Los Angeles last season. ... All three regular-season games between the two teams were decided by less than six points, with two-point and three-point Spurs win and a five-point Lakers home win on April 14. ... San Antonio thrived from 3-point range in its Game 2 win over the Lakers, hitting 7 of 14, including 3 of 4 by Manu Ginobili. ... The Spurs and Lakers have met in the playoffs 11 times, the most for San Antonio against another opponent. ... Los Angeles entered the game winners of 38 of 48 first-round series since moving from Minneapolis. ... The Lakers entered the game with an 81 percent playoff home winning percentage since moving to Staples Center. ... Both teams finished the regular season ranked in the top six in the NBA in scoring (San Antonio, fourth, 103 ppg; Los Angeles, sixth, 102.2 ppg), but the Spurs were also ranked in the top 10 in opposing scoring and the Lakers ranked 24th. ... Duncan was the career leader in playoff defensive rebounding with 1,691 entering the game. ... With the Spurs' Game 2 win, Duncan and Gregg Popovich became the winningest playoff player-coach combo with 119 victories.