SAN ANTONIO – Tony Parker had 28 points and seven assists, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers 102-91 last night to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round playoff series.
Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard had 16 points each, Manu Ginobili added 13 points, and Matt Bonner had 10 for San Antonio, which had lost three straight entering the series.
“I thought we played two pretty good games on the defensive end of the court back to back,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “That was our goal at the beginning of the season, and we did it for most of the year, as I said, until maybe the last three weeks of the season it dissipated. We got it back for these two games.”
Dwight Howard and Steve Blake had 16 points each to lead Los Angeles. Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol added 13 points each, but no other player had more than nine as the Lakers shot 45 per cent from the field.
Game 3 is tomorrow night in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles said a key to winning was shooting better, and the Lakers did – but so did San Antonio.
“They are just much more efficient than we are,” Los Angeles coach Mike D’Antoni said. “They are playing better than we are right now.”
The Spurs shot 51 per cent from the field after shooting 38 per cent in Game 1. San Antonio was 7-for-14 on 3-pointers, including 5-for-7 in the first half.
Parker had 15 points in the third quarter after going 1-for-6 in the first half. He scored 12 straight points on a series of layups and floating jumpers against Blake. Parker’s run gave the Spurs a 75-65 lead with three minutes left in the third.
“You see Tony tonight, and that’s probably the best part of the whole game,” Duncan said. “He’s getting his rhythm back. He felt good tonight. He shot the ball well tonight. He looked like Tony of midseason tonight, and that’s great for us.”
The Lakers shot 37 per cent (9-for-24) in the first quarter, a slight improvement over their 7-for-20 performance (35 per cent) in the opening quarter of Game 1.
In other matches Oklahoma Thunder beat Houston Rockets 105-102 to take a 2-0 lead, while Indiana Pacers beat Atlanta Hawks 113-98 to take a 2-0 lead also.