May 29: Lakers 100, Spurs 92

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers dispatched the defending champions, and are headed to the NBA finals for the first time in four years. Bryant scored 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers rallied from an early 17-point deficit to beat the San Antonio Spurs 100-92 on Thursday night and win the Western Conference finals in five games… A 3-pointer by Luke Walton and baskets by Jordan Farmar and Bryant gave the Lakers a 74-68 lead with 8 1/2 minutes remaining, and they were on top the rest of the way. The Spurs led by as many as 10 points early in the third quarter, but the Lakers turned up their defensive intensity during a 19-8 run that gave them a 61-60 lead—their first since the opening minute. Bryant scored nine points during the spurt. Los Angeles led 64-63 entering the final period. The Spurs got 3-pointers from Finley, Ginobili and Barry during a 15-1 run that gave them a 33-16 lead early in the second quarter. The Lakers went nearly 7 1/2 minutes without a field goal until Farmar scored three straight baskets to trim San Antonio’s lead to 11. Stat Notes: The Spurs shot 48.6%, the Lakers 44.7%, but the Lakers took 85 shots, the Spurs 74. The Spurs also nailed 7-of-15 three-pointers, the Lakers 8-of-21, which is still good. Both teams shot 18 free throws, but the Lakers hit a few more. The Lakers grabbed a few more rebounds, but the Spurs had 22 assists, the Lakers 16. Overall, the Lakers shit two more field goals, one more three-pointer, and three more free throws.

For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant (16-of-30) had 39 points, 2 steals, and not too much else. Lamar Odom (5-of-10) had 13 points, 8 rebounds and little else. Pau Gasol (just 5-of-15) had 12 points, 19 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks. Sasha Vujacoc scored 9 with 3 steals, and Vladimir Radmanovic and Jordan Farmar each scored 8.

For the Spurs, Tony Parker (11-of-22) scored 23 with 4 assists. Tim Duncan (just 7-of-19, just 5-of-10 free throws) had 19 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. Mike Finley (4-of-9) had 13 points and 4 rebounds. Brent Barry and Kurt Thomas both shot very well for 11 points each, and Thomas had 7 rebounds (but 3 turnovers). Manu Ginobili (just 3-of-9) had 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, and the same turnovers as assists. Bruce Bowen had 3 steals and little else, offensively at least, in almost 38 minutes.

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