WCF Game 1: What Went Right/Wrong

What Went Right:
• After scoring only two points in the first half while he was “letting the game come to him,” Kobe went on one of his vaunted tears in the second half, scoring 25 points, including a pivotal basket with 24 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

• Looking lifeless throughout much of the first half and a third quarter in which they trailed by 20 points midway through, the Lakers embarked on a 14-0 third quarter run on their way to their largest comeback in a playoff game since Game 4 against the Kings in the 2002 Western Conference Finals.

• Two players that struggled at times in the Second Round—Farmar and Radmanovic– had effective Game One’s against the Spurs, with Jordan scoring eight points and Radmanovic scoring 10 first half points.

• Although he was thoroughly outplayed by Duncan, Pau Gasol had several strong stretches against San Antonio in the Lakers’ big second half run, amounting to 19 points and seven rebounds.

• After struggling in the rebounding department against Utah, the Lakers matched the Spurs’ rebounding tenacity for the most part, nearly equaling their 42 rebounds by muscling down 41 of their own.

• Despite looking a little rust at the start, the Lakers executed their offense well in the second half, taking excellent care of the ball and only turning it over 10 times.

• Jackson praised Sasha Vujacic’s defense on Ginobili as the Lakers sharpshooter held Manu to just 10 points, essentially turning one of the Spur’s best scorers into a non-factor.

• The Lakers’ bench outscored the Spurs’ bench by a 21-11 margin—a positive sign for L.A. after the same group if reserves were inconsistent in the Second Round

What Went Wrong:
• The Lakers had no answer whatsoever for Tim Duncan for most of the night as the longtime Spur scored a game-high 30 points and 18 rebounds to help San Antonio build a twenty-point halftime lead.

• Although L.A. did a much better job defending Parker in the second half, he pretty much got whatever he wanted in the first frame, scoring 18 points and grabbing a surprising 10 rebounds.

• After scoring in triple digits for the better part of two rounds of the playoffs, the Lakers were forced to play at a much slower pace for much of Game 1 against the Spurs, with their 89 points a far cry from the 100+ scoring nights they had against Denver and Utah.

• Derek Fisher chose a bad time to have one of his worst shooting performances of the playoffs, notching just four points on an uncharacteristic 1-9 from the field.