Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Spurs: Matt Bonner, DeMarr Johnso, Ian Mahinmi
Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Trevor Ariza, Coby Karl
11:11 Radmanovic gets the Lakers first points of the Conference Finals after Bowen flashed a nice jumper on the Spurs’ first possession. The Lakers will need Vladi’s contributions this series after he was up-and-down against the Jazz in the Second Round.
8:48 After San Antonio built a four point lead, 8-4, Radmanovic makes an unexpected driving layup off glass that surprised the Spurs and just about everyone else in the building. On the Lakers’ next possession, Vladi nailed a soft hook shot to tie the game and give him a game-high six points with just over three minutes of the first quarter gone by.
6:55 Radmanovic is all over the place to open up the game, this time making a mid-air tip-in on Fisher’s layup miss. Prior to the make, Odom made a great help block on Duncan to ignite the Lakers fast break. Vlad is shooting a perfect 4-4 from the field so far.
5:54 Lamar finally connects on his first basket of the game, tipping in his own miss to bring the Lakers to within two points of the Spurs at 12-14. Odom also has four rebounds already to lead the team. Meanwhile, Parker, Bowen and Duncan each have four points to lead the Spurs.
4:16 Gasol puts his hand print on the game, using his length to weave around Duncan for a layup that rattles home and gives the Spaniard his fourth point of the night. The Lakers still trail 16-14 though. The Lakers are shooting only 44% so far, compared to an even 50% for San Antonio.
2:05 Jackson calls a much-needed timeout with the Lakers trailing 24-16 with a little over two minutes remaining in the opening period. The Spurs have dominated the pace of the game, repeatedly dumping it down into Duncan and letting him either score or create high-percentage opportunities for his teammates. More concerning for the Lakers, Kobe has only taken one field goal attempt so far.
Out of the timeout, Farmar and Vujacic enter the game.
1:14 After looking like he was in trouble for a second, Gasol backs his way down inside and makes a nifty jump hook and one to bring the Lakers back to within six 21-27 after Ginobili nailed a corner three on the previous possession.
32.5 The Lakers play hot potato with the ball, but Farmar makes a huge three to ignite the dormant STAPLES Center crowd and no doubt, give him a ton of confidence going forward.
12:00 Odom returns for L.A. while Walton and Turiaf make their first entrances of the game.
11:26 After missing a three pointer at the buzzer that nearly busted the roof off of STAPLES Center, Vujacic shows no hesitation in launching another trey–this time connecting to bring the Lakers to within two of the Spurs, 27-29.
10:13 Standing ovation from the sold-out crowd after Farmar made a highly-contested layup and one to cut the lead to just one. It’s a new series and it looks like we’re seeing a new Jordan Farmar, which is great news for the ourple and gold.
8:22 After a sluggish start by the team and the crowd, it finally feels like the Western Conference Finals after Turiaf–who just heard his name chanted at the free throw line for probably the first time in his career–grabbed Sasha’s three point miss for a thunderous dunk over Duncan that sent 18,997 into a frenzy.
7:34 With Mr. Momentum firmly on the Lakers’ side with the team trailing by only one, Kobe returns to the floor.
6:24 Gaosl returns, replacing Ronny, who goes out to a nice ovation from an appreciative crowd. Turiaf only had three points in his five minutes of play, but provided the team with a huge spark to open the second quarter.
4:56 Timeout on the floor with San Antonio looking like they’ve recaptured their first quarter form, now on a 9-2 run bookended by a layup from Parker after a series of offensive rebounds went the Spurs’ way. With the deuce, Parker ties Duncan for the team lead in scoring with 12.
Vujacic returns for the Lakers out of the timeout.
4:14 Bryant and Odom play excellent two-man ball, with Kobe dishing to Lamar who goes up over the smaller Udoka for an easy hook that brings L.A. to within six of San Antonio, 39-45.
3:54 Fisher replaces a very effective Farmar in the Lakers’ lineup.
1:30 Kobe finally takes–and makes–his third shot of the game after the team fell behind by double digits, 49-39 on the previous possession. The layup marked Bryant’s first two points of the night.
The Lakers looked like they were sleepwalking through much of the first half, failing to show the fire they displayed in Games 5 and 6 against Utah, resulting in a 51-43 deficit. Gasol led the Lakers with 11 points, second to Radmanovic’s 10, but as a team, L.A. struggled from the field, shooting only 43%. For the Spurs, Duncan was his usually dominant self, knocking in 16 points to go along with nine rebounds to lead San Antonio. Kobe had a sub par first half, scoring only two points on three field goal attempts.
8:03 The Spurs have taken complete and total control of the game in the first four minutes of the second half, opening up with an 8-0 run that has pushed their lead to a game high 16 points at 59-43. So far tonight, it looks like the Lakers have no answer for Duncan inside as the long-time Spur is controlling the game on both ends of the floor. L.A. desperately needs a spark before the lead becomes too insurmountable. They Lakes may get exactly that as Farmar and Vujacic re-enter the game.
5:30 Kobe nails a jumper from about twenty feet out amidst heavy boos from the hometown fans at STAPLES Center who are obviously were not please with the team’s 18-point deficit. Bryant has six points on the night on 3-8 shooting from the field. As a team the Lakers have only scored six points in the third quarter, reducing their shooting percentage to only 40%.
4:33 Kobe hits a huge three to continue the Lakers’ sudden burst of momentum, not trailing by a much more manageable 13. On the Lakers’ next possession, Kobe got the ball again and weaved his way around Udoka for a foul and two free throws that put the Lakers down by just 11 at 54-65.
3:12 Vujacic launches a three pointer that continues the Lakers’ 12-0 run and brings them to within just eight of the Spurs at 57-65. Sasha has eight points on the night, but none bigger than the trey he just hit.
2:28 Bedlam inside STAPLES Center heading into the timeout after Kobe lobbed the ball to Gasol for an ally-oop layup a la Kobe-to-Shaq in the 2000 Western Conference Finals. The Lakers trail by just six points.
1:38 Bryant to Gasol once again to cut the lead to 61-68 after Ginobili hit a three on the Spurs’ previous possession to temporarily quell some of the Lakers’ momentum.
12:00 Walton, Turiaf and Fisher are in the game to open the fourth and final quarter with the Lakers trailing 65-72.
11:09 After a series of bad decisions on the offensive end nearly results in consecutive turnovers, Kobe snatches the loose ball away and goes right at Tim Duncan for a layup that cuts the lead to just five at 67-72–the closest they’ve been in the second half. Bryant has 15 points for the game.
8:58 Despite looking wobbly from about mid court on, Fisher gets all the way to the basket and makes a highly contested layup to bring the Lakers to within five of the Spurs after Duncan connected on the Spurs’ previous possession. The basket is also Derek’s first of the game after missing his first three attempts from the field.
8:41 Gasol and Odom return for the Lakers with Duncan at the line for a pair.
7:59 Bryant sends everyone to their feet again with his second straight driving layup that cuts the lead to three. After a quiet first half, Kobe is showing why he’s the best finisher in the game today, raising his points total on the night to a team-leading 21.
4:32 Fisher heads to the line for two after stealing the ball on the previous possession. With two makes, Derek’s total on the night is up to four as the Lakers have nearly completed their comeback, now down by just two at 79-81.
3:16 After falling to the floor on his previous rebound attempt, Odom redeems himself by backing down Finley and gently laying the ball in over him to finally tie the score at 81.
2:38 The Lakers finally take their first lead of the game on two free throws by Kobe. With the crowd at a deafening level, the Lakers are completely and utterly outplaying the Spurs on both ends of the floor in the fourth quarter.
1:04 Twenty second timeout for the Lakers with the team up 85-83 and 18,997 strong waving their yellow towels in unison, smelling the victory.
23.9 Kobe hits a clutch two from about eight feet out to break the tie and reclaim an 87-85 lead for L.A. The MVP has had ice in his veins the entire quarter, raising his total on the game to 27 points on an efficient 11-21 from the field.
07.3 Vujacic comes up with the loose ball and calmly heads to the line and makes the two biggest free throws of his life to give the Lakers an 89-85 lead.
FINAL SCORE: Spurs 85, Lakers 89