Well, that was an interesting game. (Spurs 103, Lakers 91).
Kobe Bryant was one turnover short of a triple double (29 points, 12 rebounds, 9 turnovers).
In fact, the quickest analysis of the game can be made with one word: turnovers.
o The Spurs had 7 turnovers, the Lakers had 22.
o The Lakers scored 7 of their points off of Spurs turnovers, the Spurs scored 27 of their points off of Lakers turnovers.
Kobe Bryant himself had 2 more turnovers than the entire San Antonio Spurs team. Lamar Odom wasn’t much better, coughing up the ball 5 times.
Interestingly, Kwame Brown had NO turnovers. In fact, Kwame Brown was the only Laker to play who didn’t turn the ball over at all.
The Lakers had control of the first half, leading by 4 points after the first quarter and by 9 points at halftime. During the first half, the Lakers led by as many as 13 points, and had outscored San Antonio 32-8 in the paint.
And in reality, the Lakers competed well in the 4th quarter as well. The Spurs only outscored the Lakers by just 2 points in the 4th. In fact, Lakers got within 6 points of the Spurs midway through the 4th quarter, but couldn’t hang on.
The difference in this game was a total 3rd quarter collapse of the Lakers.
o Lakers started off the 3rd quarter by missing their first 8 shots.
o Spurs started with 14 unanswered points.
o 9 of the Lakers 22 turnovers happened in the 3rd quarter.
o The Lakers were outscored 31 to 12 in the 3rd quarter. Yes, the Spurs nearly tripled the Lakers point total for the quarter! And they did it with easy, run out baskets off of Laker turnovers.
Kobe Bryant seriously needs to watch game film and pay attention to how much whining he does in a game. Whining is a symptom of a lack of mental toughness.
The ONLY Laker to have a positive efficiency score was Ronny Turiaf (+13). His 4 blocked shots were a joy to behold too.
The Laker with the worst efficiency score was Kwame Brown (-23). That’s interesting, because Brown shot 50% from the field, shot 100% from the free throw line, had 6 rebounds and no turnovers. Obviously, the Spurs found they could score when Kwame was in the game. I guess defense DOES matter!
The Lakers were hurt at the point guard position. Fischer and Farmer combined for 6 of 18 shooting (33%), shot 20% from the arc, had 1 whole rebound between them, and just 3 assists.
Lakers bigs did little to slow down Tim Duncan, who finished with 28 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocked shots, and served soda and popcorn to underprivileged children during time outs. He was dominate.
Bruce Bowen only took one shot the entire game (and missed it), yet the Spurs were +11 with him in the game. Hmm. Defense is sure underrated by most people, isn’t it?
Anyway, congratulations Spurs, on a quality win. And congratulations Lakers, for hanging with the world champs for 3 quarters on the road… now you know you can do it, go correct the turnovers and 3rd quarter let down, and you’ll survive Bynum’s absense just fine.