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Forcing the usually careful Spurs into several first-half turnovers and the Lakers rolled to a 35-17 lead -- the most points allowed by the Spurs in the first quarter all season.
Bryant had 14 at the half against defenders ranging from 37-year-old Bruce Bowen to the rookie Hill. Finley kept the Spurs as close as he could, hitting a trio of 3-pointers and scoring 17 in the first half.
San Antonio trailed 78-70 to start the fourth period, but the Lakers couldn't put the Spurs away. Finley's 3-pointer with 10:30 left cut the lead to 81-78, bringing the sold-out crowd to its feet.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game he didn't know if Gooden would play, then inserted his new big man for a brief spell in the second half. It was just the third appearance since Jan. 19 for Gooden, who has been hobbled by a groin injury since starting the season in Chicago and then being traded to Sacramento last month.
Notes: The Lakers took the season series from the Spurs 2-1. ... Coach Phil Jackson said if Odom feels any guilt for getting suspended for leaving the bench against Portland, he shouldn't. "Those instincts are just sometimes stronger than rationale," Jackson said. "It's just a cockamamie rule. It's a rule has some sense in it, but doesn't stand up all the time. It just doesn't."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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