May 21: Lakers 89, Spurs 85

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant scored all but two of his 27 points after halftime, including a go-ahead, 10-foot jumper in the lane with 23.9 seconds remaining, and the Lakers rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat the Spurs 89-85 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals… Bryant’s jumper put the Lakers ahead for good after two free throws by Manu Ginobili with 1:22 remaining and a follow shot by Tim Duncan with 41 seconds left tied the game at 85. After Bryant’s game-winner, Ginobili missed a 3-pointer and Sasha Vujacic made two free throws with 7.3 seconds to go, completing the scoring… The Lakers outscored the Spurs 24-13 in the fourth quarter, when San Antonio shot 3-for-21, including 1-for-9 from 3-point range… The Spurs outscored the Lakers 14-2 to start the third quarter for a 65-45 lead, drawing groans from the crowd of 18,997 at Staples Center, where the Lakers haven’t lost since March 28. Suddenly, the Lakers came together, scoring 14 straight points in a span of 3:05 to draw within six. Bryant had seven points and two assists during the run. Stat Notes: The Lakers shot 43.2%, the Spurs 40.5%. But the Lakers shot a respectable 4-of-10 three-pointers while the Spurs were just 5-of-20 (Mike Finley went 0-of-5). Free throws were close, but the Lakers were a bit better. Rebounds, assists and turnovers were fairly close.

For the Lakers, Bryant (shot 11-of-21) had 27 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists. Pau Gasol (9-of-16) had 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Vladimir Radmanovic (5-of-5) had 10 points and 5 rebounds. Sasha Vujacic on 8 shots had 10 points and 5 rebounds. Lamar Odom (3-of-12) and Derek Fisher (1-of-9) had bad games, though Odom had 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.

For the Spurs, Tim Duncan (12-of-25) had 30 points, 18 rebounds, 2 steals, 4 blocks, but more turnovers than assists. Tony Parker needed 17 shots for his 18 points, 10 rebounds (yup) and 6 assists. Bruce Bowen (5-of-8) scored 12. Manu Ginobili (just 3-of-13) had just 10 points, 4 rebounds and more turnovers than assists. Mike Finley shot 0-of-5 for no points. Ime Udoka had 7 of the Spurs 9 bench points.

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