The Los Angeles Lakers had no answer for Tony Parker Wednesday night, resulting in a 102-91 loss to San Antonio. The Spurs point guard took advantage of the Lakers’ un-athletic guards on his way to 28 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds.
The Lakers got some help from their bench, which scored 24 points, but injuries began to take their toll on the starters. Steve Nash had 9 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds but he was walking gingerly throughout the second half.
Steve Blake had another off shooting night but came up with big buckets when the Lakers needed one, finishing with 16 points, 2 assists, and 6 rebounds. Blake was taken out of the game with about six minutes left in the game and was diagnosed with a right hip strain.
Pau Gasol also struggled from the field, going 5-for-14 with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Dwight Howard had trouble dealing with the referees as they called a tight game. Howard had 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 blocks but also committed 5 turnovers.
The Lakers protected the ball better Wednesday night but still managed to turn the ball over 13 times. Los Angeles had chances but couldn’t close out quarters. Add in the fact that San Antonio is one of the best teams in the league at closing out quarters and the Lakers were in trouble.
The Spurs have players that can stretch the floor and the Lakers failed to close out, possession after possession. Parker would penetrate the defense and kick it out to the perimeter for open shots.
Other than Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili, Matt Bonner and Kawhi Leonard are two players that the Lakers cannot stop. They spread the floor, can dribble-drive, and can shoot the lights out from 3-point land. Bonner had 10 points and 5 rebounds for the second consecutive game. Leonard made 8-of-12 shots and scored 16 points.
The two teams will return to the court Friday night in Los Angeles for game 3 at Staples Center.
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