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Game of the Night: Spurs oust Lakers with a great play at the end

Nov 14, 2012, 1:54 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs Stephen Jackson, Tim Duncan, and Tiago Splitter of Brazil celebrate after they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles

On a night where Kobe Bryant was brilliant and the best player on the floor, it was the Spurs and a great play design by Greg Popovich that was the difference at the end.

With the Lakers up by a single point with 19 seconds left, the Spurs inbounded the ball in the back court and walked the ball up with Tony Parker.

When he crossed half court he passed the ball to Tim Duncan who then handed the ball off to Kawhi Leonard. After giving the ball up, Duncan slid down the right lane line and set another screen for Danny Green who had just set a pick for Stephen Jackson along the baseline. Green popped free outside the three point line, got the pass in rhythm, and knocked down the jumper as Kobe couldn’t get out to him in time.

With the Lakers now trailing they had their own shot to win but couldn’t come up with nearly as creative a play to get off a good shot. Pau Gasol got the inbound in the corner, looked for Kobe to break open, and when it didn’t happen he fired up a three pointer of his own that bounced harmlessly off the rim. Ball game, Spurs.

While the final possessions will get most of the attention, this game was about much more than those last 20 seconds.

The Lakers fought hard in looking to get their third straight win. If they’d played this hard for Mike Brown, he still might be pacing the Lakers’ sidelines.  Instead, Bernie Bickerstaff benefitted from the defensive effort to stifle the Spurs’ offense (San Antonio shot 38.9% from the floor) and the board work his team provided (the Lakers outrebounded the Spurs 48-38) to give his team a shot to win the game.

The Spurs also played well on defense and that’s reflected in the 84-82 final score. San Antonio crowded the paint and dared the Lakers to hit shots form the outside. But when the Lakers had trouble hitting their jumpers, it only encouraged the Spurs to double team the Lakers’ big men more. Dwight Howard (6 turnovers) struggled with the extra defensive attention and Pau Gasol couldn’t hit enough shots (3-10 from the floor, 10 points) to make the defense pay for leaving him open.

That led to Kobe Bryant having the carry the Lakers’ offense and he did a fine job of it. Kobe hit 12-19 shots from the floor to score 28 points (chipping in 8 assists too) and did a great job of breaking down the Spurs defense all night. Multiple defenders got their shot at Kobe but one by one he mowed them down with an array of drives and made jumpers that had Greg Popovich frustrated and his Lakers’ teammates celebrating from the bench.

It wasn’t enough, though. In the second half the Spurs clamped down on defense and started to pressure the ball more and force the Lakers to use up the shot clock and take tougher shots. They started to blitz ball handlers coming off the pick and roll while flooding the strong side with extra defenders. The Lakers needed to knock down jumpers when the ball was swung to the opposite side but simply couldn’t do it.

And in the end, this was the difference. The Spurs found a way to keep the game close through effective defense and timely shot making. In the second half, they found enough scoring (Tim Duncan scored 12 of his 18 points in the final 24 minutes while Stephen Jackson’s two 3 pointers were also big shots) and hung close. Meanwhile, the Lakers couldn’t get the stops they needed nor hit the big basket that could have given them the separation to outlast their opponent.

So the Spurs improve their record to 7-1 and remain at the top of the western conference alone. The Lakers, meanwhile, can’t get to .500 and can only stew over a game they could have won while they wait for their new head coach to arrive later this week.

  1. lakerluver - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    Danny Green?!! You gotta be kidding me!…Tonight was a good measuring stick for the LAKERS. If this were February–with a healthy Nash & D’Antoni’s system in place–the outcome might’ve been different. Or, had Kobe gotten a little more help tonight.

    • passerby23 - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:46 AM

      Green is no joke. The guy will be in the top 5 or 10 in 3P% this year.

      Will Dwight Howard ever learn from his silly fouls? You can’t stick your forearm in a guy’s throat or shove him down to the floor and then simply laugh it off as the refs “falling for a flop.” Get some defensive position and hustle and quit sarcastically playing it off as bad calls. That stuff costs your team games.

      I do agree, plug Nash into D’Antoni’s system, give them some time to gel, and they will look good by the playoffs. They still, however, have a terrible bench.

    • progress2011 - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:17 AM

      Sure FAKERluver….

      Ignore the fact that the Spurs shot only 38.9%. Not because of the laker defense, many of the shots were uncontested.

      Over a 7 game series, how often you think that will happen.

      If you cross your fingers(and toes) squeeze your eyes shut real tight, while chewing on a 4 leaf clover, you still won’t have that much luck.

      Better tell Buss to break out the checkbook and pay the refs again.

      • hickoryhigh - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:51 AM

        ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, Faker, that’s soooo funny. Almost as funny as Mr. Wanna Be Like Mike. Man, so funny. How do you come up with this stuff? It’s genius.

  2. magicbucs - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    Of course it’s not Kurt writing this article… Thanks Darius…
    Great game with a great finish ……FUQ LA!

  3. mrcuret - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    And that was in Kobe’s face too!

  4. progress2011 - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    Team Ball vs Hero Ball = TEAM BALL

    What a friggin doofus…mr. Wanna-Be-Like-Mike has been in the league 17 years and dude STILL hasn’t figured out that, he needs to get his teammates involved early.

    Still taking ill advised shots, when he has 2 legit 7’0″ guys in the middle that need and deserve touches.

    Then he didn’t play D, in the clutch and got a 3 DRAINED, in his face……ahahahahaha

    The loss is squarely on “FAKE” MJ’s shoulders.

    • unxpexted1 - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      I’m sorry, Kobe was an effiecient 12-19 from the floor. That is HARDLY hero ball. Lets look at the rest of the team:

      Paul: 3-10
      Metta:4-14 (First off why i he even taken 14 shots, thats a problem)
      Morris: 0-5
      Howard: 5-9 and had 6 turnover and got stripped almost every time he seem to touch the ball.

      This is “squarely” on Kobe’s shoulders. Nah bro. I’ve seen plenty of bad Kobe over the years. This is not one of those cases. They lost to a very good Spurs team, you act like this was some debacle.

  5. bloyaglock - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    Wow Darius…tell the truth much?? LMAO…the lakers are garbage…Kobe is a machine gun and doenst know how to play team ball. This kid never would have gotten his rings if it werent for the team (players) he had around him. He is no Lebron dude!! And the jumper was dead in his face LOL…fck you talkin bout, couldnt get to him in time lol…. Wow. Denial isnt just a river in Egypt.

    Aight, Peace fool.

  6. jgray30 - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:14 AM

    uh incase you didnt notice, Pau hasn’t been legit in atleast 2 seasons. He definitely wasnt lastnite either. As for the 3 pointer, Kobe was late in rotation. Would have happened to any player. Wasnt like he was guarding Green straight up. Kobes thinking is if he has 2 starters shooting under30% for 3 quarters, how can he help them in the 4th? Not to mention horrific pg play. Stop hating on the man hes not a babysitter.

  7. jgray30 - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    Kobe shot 12 of 16 with 8 assists (which is good for him) and its his fault they loss? Yall retarded. I dont like Le Bron but dude got game. You hate Kobe y again? It dont matter just respect his game u lame mf’s PEACE!

  8. kavika6 - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:03 AM

    The Spurs played terrible but still beat the lowly lakers. Only Sacramento has a worse record than the Lakers in the west.

    Can’t wait for Thursday when the Spurs play the much over-rated Knicks. It’s been easy for the Knicks so far playing against the scrubs of the league. Maybe after San Antonio and Memphis beat them people will shut up.

    • unxpexted1 - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      The spurs played bad and so did the Lakers. Stop acting like the Lakers played some amazing game but barely won. Both teams struggled this game. Lakers were just unable to draw up one good play at the end of the game. With an interim head coach that happens.

    • scalfor3 - Nov 14, 2012 at 6:26 PM

      Knicks did beat the Heat…

      but I agree with you on the Lakers sucking (at least for now)

      • kavika6 - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:35 AM

        I’ll give you that one.

  9. lakerryan - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:27 AM

    Man you people don’t know basketball. Kobe had 8 assists and 28 points on an extremely efficient night. Don’t blame this on him. If Lebron put up those numbers you’d be yelling about how he has no help. Dwight had 6 turnovers and Pau shot terribly. But somehow it’s Kobe’s fault. Why don’t you try actually looking at what happened instead of MJ IS DA BEST AND LEBRON WOULDA MADE A BETTER SHOT AND WOULDN’T LET DANNY GREEN HIT DAT SHOT KOBE SUCKS. MJ didn’t hit 100% of his shots. And got beat plenty of times. God you people are stupid.

  10. shaolinnyc - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:28 AM

    Knicks beat the Heat. Don’t sleep on that.

  11. shaolinnyc - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    Knicks beat Miami on the short list…….don’t sleep on New York yo

  12. lowtalker - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    hey Kobe . . . really good effort on defense on that last play! I hope someone gave you a death stare for that lack of effort.

  13. lemfaxx - Nov 14, 2012 at 6:35 AM


  14. fruitcovejag - Nov 14, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    Refs kept it close. Dwight’s going to be a liability in close games like this. He better not catch that ball or Pop would have put him on the line. Kobe kept looking for Pau and he was clutch. Hit his FTs, found the open man, and almost made the three.

  15. paulhargis53 - Nov 14, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    This is just a preview of the 2nd round series when the Spurs knock the Lakers out of the playoffs.

    Lakerslurper, this WILL be the system, playground basketball, with little to no defense.

    Started on your farewell to pbt speech yet?

  16. omniusprime - Nov 14, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    I’m glad I didn’t waste my time watching the whole game. I just had the sneaky feeling the Lakers just weren’t into playing hard enough to win against the Spurs. The one bright spot I saw was no Steve Flake. Good that the new young guards like Morriss and Duhon are getting some playing time and valuable floor experience. I’m not looking forward to D’Antoni’s debut, I hope it’s a flop and he doesn’t last five games so he gets fired and that little idiot buss boy gets a second chance to correctly hire Phil Jackson the way he should have Monday.

  17. lakerluver - Nov 14, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    What a bunch of fools. The Spurs won on a 3, against a LAKERS team missing its starting pg and playing under an interim coach. Just wait until the LAKERS get healthy! The LAKERS don’t fear them. The Spurs haven’t won anything since 05. And had Sheed not left Horry wide open Detroit might’ve repeated. As for the Kobe bashing, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard thus far today. The guy dominated the game but you clowns still figure out a way to criticize. There has NEVER been a sg play this well this late in his career. Not even MJ. Look it up. Ignorant.

    • scalfor3 - Nov 14, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      You should fear them. Right now, they are pretty clearly better than you. Not just judging by last night, but over the past season or two.

    • kavika6 - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:45 AM

      This guy again? How many times must you be told on this site that the Spurs last won in 2007?

  18. lakerluver - Nov 14, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    I won’t call Danny Green a scrub but COME ON!! I like the LAKERS chances against the Spurs if they have to rely on a 3 by a guy that’s not exactly known for that. He ain’t Ray freaking Allen.

  19. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 14, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    LL: Easy now, dude. You should get used to these haters. Every Laker loss is an opportunity for them just like your proverbial roaches, to come out from the woodwork.

    Considering how close the game was, turnovers caused the Lakers loss in my opinion. Meeks should be in the doghouse right now.

    Unlike a lot of doofuses out there, I give credit where credit is due.

    Props to the Spurs for the win. They deserve it.

  20. lakerluver - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Dude, you’re right. Sometimes I forget there is very little objectivity on this site as it pertains to the LAKERS.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      That’s just the way it is, my friend.

      At the rate and number of successes the Lakers franchise is getting (compared to most NBA teams), a lot of non-Laker-fans are getting sick and tired of having our chosen franchise celebrating in June.

      Do we see a lot of Bobcat haters hovering on an article of some Bobcat loss like some swarm of flies over some canine fecal matter eager to have a taste for dessert?

      That’s just the way it is as it comes with the territory.

      We have to deal with it as well.

  21. pinhead2 - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Good win for Spurs but it’s clear that Lakers can be a beast when they play defense together. Being a Spurs fan, I hope that doesn’t happen but they are certainly loaded if they can find a way to learn consistent team play together.

  22. jerdogthompson - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Look I can see how the simple fact the Lakers have only beat lottery teams so far this game meant something.

    I’m being impartial here, the Spurs missed too many uncontested shots period. Oh yeah, if you think MWP will have another shooting night like last night you’re sorely, sorely mistaken.

    Howard was denied easy looks all night and was bothered by splitter. Lakers lead the NBA in turnovers and last night was no different, 18-19? I think Howard was 7-8 those.

    Yeah if only Nash was playing. Then what? If only the Spurs shot their normal FG% this game would have been a blowout. 60% of their missed shots came on set plays without a Laker within 5 feet.

    I can see the optimism here but quite frankly you should be thankful the headline wasn’t “Spurs mop Staples floor with hapless Lakers”. Keep the faith though I’m certain it will get better. No I’m not, what am I saying?

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      LOL! Point taken. Although I would have to disagree with you on your comment regarding keeping the faith.

      Then again, what do I expect from a non-Laker fan? Mind, this isn’t a condescending comment. One doesn’t need to be a hater to comment on the negative things/areas for improvement of a certain team.

      Not to take away the effort done by the Spurs but yeah, those turnovers really did it for the Lakers considering how close the game was.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:29 AM

      By the way, that first thumb up was mine just to prove my point. Cheers!

  23. paulhargis53 - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Here’s the problem- no freaking bench!

    MWP – 36 minutes
    Gasol- 36 minutes
    Howard 40 minutes
    Kobe – 38 minutes

    Wait til February?! Logging this many minutes this early, they will go out with a whimper ,just Luke the last 2 years!

    BTW lakerslurper, a little research would have showed you that for his career, Green is a 42.4% 3 point shooter.

    Hardly a fluke shot like you want to paint it. He’s 132/211.

    Don’t you ever get tired of being made to look dumb?

    Foul: It’s not the hate of the team, its the detestable fanbase of yours we enjoy poking at. You and your little scrote boy lakerluver, along with loungefly being the leading offenders.

    Keep that in mind, ok?

    You guys want to run your mouth all offseason about how great the Lakers are going to be, them cry when you get crap from people. That’s pretty sad.

    And lakerslurper, you wouldnt know objectivity if it sat on your face.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Goodness, paul. You kinda lost some marbles there with all that vitriol your spouting like some canine infected with a certain virus belonging to the Rhabdoviridae family of viruses specifically the genus Lyssavirus.

      What do you expect from Laker fans then? Whine and whimper just because our team isn’t good enough for you?

      Who died and made you god?

      The Lakers franchise is a great one. So is its team.

      Deal with it.

      You’re just worried that your Celtics’ record of 17 banners may well be tied soon.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      “You guys want to run your mouth all offseason about how great the Lakers are going to be, them cry when you get crap from people. That’s pretty sad.”

      I cry when I get crap from people? LOL! When? Please specify.

      The problem with you is that YOU ANTICIPATE our reaction and call them like it did happen even if it didn’t.

      Remember that comment of yours re: Blake’s fine for bad mouthing this son of a CEO?

      Your first comment was this:

      “Jesus! The kid didn’t say anything any other fan of the team was thinking….

      If he’s a minor, you fool’s are going to excuse an adult for cursing at him?!
      Nice priorities……

      Nice to see the pressure getting to these guys after only 3 games.


      I made certain lines ALL CAPS to emphasize your very pathetic comment.


      Because NO ONE was defending Blake prior to your post!!!

      What were you smoking, dude? How do you explain that?

      You’re just a hater and you chose LL as your whipping boy then you complain bozosforall’s behavior against you and all New England sports fans.

      You know what? You’re even worse than bozo. At least he isn’t fixated with any particular poster here. It’s quite obvious that I wouldn’t get some decent discussion from you. You have so much hate against the Lakers. You’re NOT even MAN ENOUGH to admit that.

  24. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM


    I actually posted 2 comments in succession just for paul.

    Consider that my pro bono for the day.

    • limonadamas - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      Now he’s just gonna say that you’re “mentally weak” for even bothering to post against him. Basically, if you let him run his mouth, he has to be right. If you don’t, then you’re “mentally weak.” What a doof. Totally agree with your post, by the way.

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        So true. He even had the gall to lecture lakerluver on being objective.

        What a joker! Pot meet kettle, and oh boy that’s a lot of soot you got there.

        Talk about moral ascendancy and credibility. That classic case of a doofus should step out of his soap box and cease playing Don Quixote. He hasn’t realized that the dragons he’s been chasing are actually his own reflections.

        Then again, maybe he INDEED does a lot of “Chasing the Dragons…”

  25. musician0785 - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    so let me get this straight….Lakers dont shoot well from the floor its the spurs defense…..Spurs dont shoot well from the floor and its just beacuse they missed shots…..damn what a spin

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