Point guard Tony Parker scored 25 points, and the Spurs continued
streaking with a 125-109 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on
Wednesday night at Staples Center.
The Spurs, who have the NBA's best record (51-16) and are 12-1 since
the All-Star break, defeated the Lakers for the seventh consecutive
time and the third time this season. The Lakers' loss came on the
heels of Los Angeles suffering its worst defeat to the Spurs on
Friday, a 119-85 decision.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said his team didn't play well
until the second half Wednesday.
"Probably the only thing I liked was that they hung in there,"
Popovich said of his players. "I thought we played really porous
defense. I thought a lot of that was because L.A. was very
"They were in attack mode all night long. They did a great job of
that, and I don't think we adjusted to it until maybe the end of the
third quarter. From that point, I thought our defense was very
The Lakers (22-45) dropped their third straight and fell for the
sixth time in seven games.
San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard finished with 22 points and 10
rebounds. Forward Tim Duncan added 12 points, 16 rebounds and six
assists, and guard Danny Green contributed 16 points. Seven Spurs
scored in double figures, including reserve guards Manu Ginobili (13
points and six assists) and Marco Belinelli )10 points).
The Spurs' balance and ball movement are helping them prosper.
"On the defensive end, we're being very active," said Leonard, who
hit eight of 12 field-goal attempts and scored 14 of his points in
the second half. "And on offense, we're playing with a little bit
more pace rather than bringing the ball up slow. It's freeing up
The Spurs broke up a close game in the final period. They led 92-87
heading into the fourth quarter before pushing the margin to double
digits midway through the fourth quarter after Duncan converted a
"I think you have to give a lot of credit to the Lakers," said
Parker, who had five assists and only one turnover in 33 minutes.
"They made it hard on us tonight. It was a tough game. We beat them
pretty bad at home, so they wanted to come back with a lot of
energy. It was a tough first half, but the second half we played a
lot better defense."
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San Antonio took a 58-57 lead at the half as Green (14 points) and
Parker (13 points) provided the bulk of the offense. The Lakers,
though, stayed close mainly on the play of guard Xavier Henry, who
came off the bench to score 19 of his 24 points in the first half,
11 of them in the second quarter.
The Spurs began to create some distance in the third quarter. They
took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Belinelli for a 78-75
advantage with 5:21 left in the quarter. The two teams practically
traded baskets the rest of the quarter before the Spurs took control
in the fourth.
"They played hard and executed down the stretch," Henry said. "They
made a lot of good plays in the third and fourth quarter. It was a
tough way to go out, but we fought."
Los Angeles center Pau Gasol had 22 points, 10 rebounds and six
San Antonio shot 52.6 percent (50 of 95) from the field compared to
42.9 percent (39 of 91) for the Lakers. The Spurs went 12-for-27
(44.4 percent) on 3-point attempts. Los Angeles went 9-for-26 (34.6
percent) from behind the arc.
NOTES: NBA commissioner Adam Silver attended the game. ... Spurs
coach Gregg Popovich on Phil Jackson becoming president of the New
York Knicks: "I think it's fantastic. It's wonderful for everybody
concerned. It's definitely great for the league to have him back in
it. It's great for the Knicks. He'll figure it out." ... Lakers F
Nick Young could return for Friday's game against the Washington
Wizards. Young has missed 11 games with a sore left knee, the same
one he fractured in February. ... Los Angeles F Jordan Hill, out for
the sixth consecutive game with a sore right knee, might return for
either Friday's contest against the Wizards or Sunday's matchup
against the Orlando Magic. ... The Spurs improved to 38-2 when
leading at halftime. ... San Antonio visits the Sacramento Kings on
Friday and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
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