Sunday, May 9, 2004
TD, TP combine for 18 points in Game 3
LOS ANGELES -- Tim Duncan and Tony Parker went from
dominating duo to also-rans against the Los Angeles Lakers'
Duncan scored 10 points and Parker had eight in San Antonio's
105-81 loss Sunday.
The Lakers cut the Spurs' lead to 2-1 in the Western Conference
semifinals. Game 4 is Tuesday at Staples Center.
"We can't come out and expect that it's going to be easy,"
Duncan and Parker combined for 104 points in helping the Spurs
to 10-point victories in the first two games.
But with Gary Payton and Kobe Bryant alternately dogging both of
them, Duncan was held to 4-of-14 and Parker shot 4-of-12 Sunday.
Duncan had six turnovers and Parker committed three.
"They were very aggressive out of the gate," Duncan said.
"They had a good defensive scheme and executed it well. They took
us all out of our games."
The best Spurs players weren't even starters.
Devin Brown had 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and
reserve Manu Ginobili added 17 points.
"That's not going to hack it against any team in the
playoffs," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "If nobody in your
starting group has a good game, you're going to be in big
San Antonio lost for the first time since March 23 against
Minnesota, snapping a 17-game winning streak. The Spurs had won
their final 11 regular season games and the first six of the
"The game was called differently, the game was played
differently, and they were aggressive and we didn't react the right
way," Duncan said.
Duncan and Parker's problems occurred right away. Duncan was
1-of-8 in the first half, while Parker shot 2-of-8. Neither of them
got untracked as the Spurs' 10-point halftime deficit stretched to
28 in the fourth quarter.
"We had a tough shooting night and we know it's going to happen
sometimes," Parker said. "We have to refocus and come back
Tuesday and play better."
The Spurs didn't get the ball to the 7-foot Duncan inside, where
Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal was especially good. O'Neal had 28
points and 15 rebounds, while Spurs center Rasho Nesterovic was
"The aggressive team wins in the NBA and especially the
playoffs, and I thought the Lakers were aggressive from the
beginning," Popovich said.
The Spurs shot 34.1 percent and committed 21 turnovers -- two
less than their total in the first two games.
Popovich believes Game 4 could be close or another blowout.
"It's all over the map, always has been, always will be," he
said. "I just hope we're more aggressive to start the game. If
we're not, we'll be in trouble again."