11:46 – Phil mentioned in the pre-game that Luke needed to get in a good game. First possession he gets to the basket and gets the foul.
9:28 – Kobe powers through Bowen for the lay-up. Thus far there have been 2 possessions where the offensive player has gone through the defensive player (also Parker going through Fisher) and both times, no call or call to the offensive player. Surprisingly, the second didn’t ge the cheers of the first.
7:59 – Kwame is getting looks close in and finishing. Kobe is carving up the defense well to make that happen.
6:26 – The Lakers have been more energetic thus far and have an early 15-8 lead. The team has gotten penetration to set up some easy looks, both by and from Kobe. Defensively, Kwame has been stout on Duncan and they have kept penetration down thus far. Ginobili has just come in, so we’ll see how that changes the dynamic.
4:18 – It’s Mbenga time. Kwame got a foul at the offensive end wihle rebounding and just picked up his second defending Duncan.
2:22 – Well, we know the limitations in Mbenga’s game. Twice he has sealed down low, getting great deep position. Once he missed s short jump hook, another he dribbled out of the post. Tim Duncan has been asserting himself in the game. He looked a little slow to me initially, but he is certainly effective. Even before Kwame left he was dominating the Spurs offense, with Mbenga it’s even more so. The Lakers still lead, but they have 5 turnovers already, which is a tough recipe to make work on the road.
End of first quarter – Lakers 27, Spurs 23
Ronny came in late and it was his hustle to stem the San Antonio tide. He got an offensive rebound that led to Lamar shooting free throws and he also got some free throws for himself. the Lakers have put together a solid quarter, though Kobe has shouldered a lot of the burden, scoring and assisting. Also, we saw the Spurs hit a number of 3′s, 3-5 to be exact, a worrying sign from past Lakres games.
8:56 – The Lakers have had to weather the storm that is Jacque Vaughn, who is penetrating more or less at will. Ronny is shining. He has 8 early points thanks to some jumpers and well timed crashes to the hoop. He gets a block that leads to a Jordan lay-up. Jordan has a real skill at finishing high off the glass.
7:25 – Is there a worse dagger to the other team’s heart than a Sasha three? You know they just don’t respect him and say, “Who?” when he scores. The Spurs announcer doesn’t know his name, so I guess you can’t blame the fans.
6:14 – The Lakers have stretched their lead to 10. The Spurs don’t have an answer to Ronny crashing the rim when they double team Kobe. It’s a play Bynum used and Ronny is in the same groove tonight. The Spurs aren’t shooting well. They’re getting shots, but they aren’t falling and the Lakers are rebounding well, the Spurs have 1 offensive rebound this quarter. That’s effective.
4:18 – Finley hits a three to bring it back to 10, but the Lakers are playing impressively. Ronny blocked Duncan, Luke rebounded over him, we won’t mention the missed shot that followed, and generally the Lakers are out-hustling the Spurs. Other than Duncan, they don’t seem to have a lot of options working right now beyond the 3 point ball, and that might just be due to the Lakers defense. The starters are back in, presumably to close out the quarter, we’ll see how they do.
1:58 – The Lakers force a 24 second violation. The defense, more specifically the help defense has been solid. Guys are doubling down and rotating and when the Spurs get it to the perimeter, as often as not they end up resetting instead of getting up a 3.
End of first half – Lakers 54, Spurs 45
Things have gone well for the Lakers in the first half, mostly a result of their own doing. The good news has been Ronny’s performance, some timely rebounds by Luke, leading to a +10 rebounding edge, a solid shooting night by all at 53.7% and a solid defensive effort all around. The bad news is Kwame’s 3 fouls, the Spurs shooting 6-12 from the 3 point line, and not a whole lot else. Those 3′s are keeping the Spurs close. Basically it has been Duncan or a 3 pointer, but not much else. It’s only half way to a full day’s work, but thus far the Lakers have done the job.
9:57 The Spurs quickly rack up four points causing the crowd to explode and Phil to stop the game with a TO. Thus far the San Antonio defense has picked up from the first half as they’re coming over to double Kobe as soon as he hints at heading towards the bucket. 54-49 Lakers.
7:57 Lamar feeds Kwame underneath, but it’s not to be. The Lakers haven’t scored in this second half yet while the Spurs have gone on an 8-0 run to open the second stanza. We’re being subjected to various forms of Knight Rider-esque tunes every time the home team brings the ball down. Oh now they’ve switched it up to the CSI:Miami theme (yes I know thats a song by The Who, but they’ve sold their soul to the CSI devil and that’s not to be forgiven even if Pete Townshend burns a guitar in my living room). It’s kinda brutal, especially since everything is played at +20 decibels of whatever they play it at at Staples.
6:19 Still no Laker points, but a couple more by the Spurs who now have the lead at 55-54. A couple travels, some offensive fouls, missed layups–it’s all happening for the boys in purple right now.
5:39 Complete pandemonium as the Spurs convert two more quick ones. We’re sitting pretty close to a group of Laker fans that were “running thier mouth” most of the first to the “Baseline Bums” group that is directly behind us. We’re in serious danger of becoming collateral damage here. We’re also on the side of the floor that has the long white balloons. Things are going as well for Lakers.com as they are for the Lakers on the floor. Spurs now lead 59-56.
4:18 “M-V-P” chant breaks out from the group in front of us as Kobe heads to the line… it’s quickly quelled by boos from the crowd. No doubt that those guys are getting their money’s worth.
35.6 Ime Udoka officially has WAY too many points. People from Los Angeles should be ashamed for allowing such a thing. That’s gives him 12 and the Spurs extend the lead.
End of 3rd
Consecutive Brent Barry treys quickly push the San Antonio lead to 10 making this a +19 quarter for the Spurs. The trey ball and turnovers KILLED the Lakers in that quarter.
9:28 – Farmar draws the ire of the crowd with a hard foul on Ginobili. He opts to hold on, so it entirely stops Manu in his tracks and looks all the worse, since he was charging in for a lay-up. The question for the rest of the game is whether the Lakers can get the stops. The Lakers shooting percentage has plummeted so it won’t be easy on that end either, but if they don’t shore up the defense, they won’t ever reel the Spurs in.
6:22 – Kobe hits a three and draws an instant TO from the Spurs. San Antonio has their starters in and have decided this is the moment to kill off this game. The lead has shrunk to 6, so they haven’t done it thus far. They execute so patiently on offense, passing up looks early in the clock, know that a similar look will come later. The penetration that has bedeviled the Lakers in the past against the Spurs has been the problem once again. But it’s just a 6 point deficit with 6:22 left, so the game is poised to turn one way or the other.
4:46 – Udoka falls for Kobe’s favorite trick, wait for the reach and then just go up through the defenders arm. Kobe is roundly booed by the crowd on the replay, but Udoka fell for a veteran trick, pure and simple. On the other end Udoka comes back and gets a basket of his own. You have to applaud a guy raising his game in the moment. Though I doubt Kobe will be the one to do it right now.
3:46 – It was poised on the knife’s edge at 6:22 and it didn’t go the way of the Lakers. It’s now a 13 point Spurs lead off a Manu 3.
End of game – Lakers 91, Spurs 103