Friday , Mar , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Duncan leads San Antonio past Lakers

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Tim Duncan netted 20 points and pulled down
13 rebounds to lead San Antonio to an easy 96-85 win over the LA Lakers at the
Staples Center.

“We got into a flow in the third quarter,” said Duncan. “All in all it was a
team effort.”

Tony Parker added 19 points and dished off six assists for the Spurs, who won
their second consecutive game and for the third time in their last four
outings. San Antonio now leads the Southwest Division and Western Conference
standings by two games over idle Dallas.

“We moved the ball pretty well and our defense was pretty good all night
long,” said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. “Winning on the road is always
sweet.”

Nazr Mohammed and Robert Horry both chipped in with 12 points apiece while
Manu Ginobili had 11 points and Bruce Bowen recorded 10 points in the win.

Kobe Bryant donated a game-high 23 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers
but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles, which lost for the
first time in five games, remained in the seventh spot of the Western
Conference playoff race, 1 1/2 games ahead of Sacramento.

“We were flat tonight,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “We are still not
quite good enough to stay with a team like that.”

Lamar Odom added 13 points while Sasha Vujacic had 11 in the loss.

After a tightly contested first half, the two teams continued to play a nip
and tuck game in the early minutes of the third quarter. The Spurs lead 57-56
when they finally took control of the game by closing the quarter with a 19-2
run. Brent Barry capped the flurry with a three and San Antonio took a 76-58
cushion into the final frame.

The Lakers slowly chipped away and tried to make it a game in the fourth
quarter. Luke Walton’s three-point play drew Los Angeles to within nine,
85-76, with 6:29 left in the contest.

The Spurs answered with a Parker running jumper and a Duncan bucket to extend
the lead back to 13 points, 89-76, with 5:46 left.

Walton tried to bring the Lakers back one more time, with another three-point
play, but Horry answered with a long trey from the top to make it 92-79 with
4:26 on the clock.

Los Angeles never seriously threatened the rest of the way as San Antonio
coasted to the victory.

The Spurs led 25-21 after the first 12 minutes of action and managed to take a
precarious one-point edge, 41-40, into intermission. Parked paced San Antonio
with 12 points at the half while Bryant had 16 for the Lakers.

Game Notes

The Lakers are 21-14 at home this season…The Spurs are an impressive 26-12
on the road this season…Los Angeles won the battle of the boards 46-43, but
shot just 40 percent on the night.

LAL SAN