Duncan, Spurs hold off Lakers
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Tim Duncan had 26 points and 16 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs past the Los Angeles Lakers, 105-96.
Manu Ginobili added 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals for the Spurs, who won for the second time in as many games on the young season.
"We did a good job moving the basketball and sharing the ball," said Spurs' head coach Greg Popovich of his team, which had 28 assists on the night.
Kobe Bryant had 28 points to lead the Lakers, who have opened the post- Shaquille O'Neal era with losses in two of their first three games.
The Spurs led 29-27 after 12 minutes, before beginning the second quarter with an 18-4 spurt to grab a 47-31 advantage with just under seven minutes left in the first half. Duncan had five points during the run and capped the spurt with a hoop.
The Lakers used a 10-2 run later in the second quarter to pull within 53-45 with two minutes left in the first half. San Antonio eventually took a 59-47 lead into the intermission, led by Duncan's 15 points. Tony Parker chipped in with a dozen in the first half.
Bryant had 14 first half points on 5-of-11 shooting.
The Spurs continued to have their way in the third quarter, but received a blow when Duncan was forced to leave the game with his fourth personal foul with just under six minutes left. San Antonio, which led by 14 at the time Duncan hit the bench, weathered some Laker runs to take an 11-point lead into the final 12 minutes.
Los Angeles had several chances to slice the deficit to single digits, and finally did, at 96-87 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game on two free throws by Bryant. It marked the first time in the second half that the Lakers were within single digits.
Chucky Adkins nailed a three-pointer with 3:53 left in the contest, and the Lakers were suddenly within six points, at 99-93. But it was as close as they would get.
The Spurs held a 22-8 edge in this game in points off turnovers, which allowed them to collect their fourth win over the Lakers in their last five visits to Los Angeles.
"We got beat tonight," said Lakers' forward Lamar Odom. "They did a better job defensively. You can't let them get a 16-, 18-point lead. They're too good."LAL SAN