Duncan scored 12 of his 30 points in the final period, including
three straight jumpers in a decisive 10-0 run, as the Spurs came
back for an 88-78 win over the Lakers in Game 1 of their
second-round playoff series Sunday.
Los Angeles, leading 65-62 after three, committed 11 turnovers
and scored only 13 points in the fourth quarter, being held without
a field goal for a six-minute span.
"We tried to force-feed Shaq, and they got four or five
turnovers out of that that helped them get back into the game,"
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "By and large, we were victims of
our own inability to execute."
The win was the Spurs' 16th straight since late March. Game 2 in
the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night.
Duncan drew double-teams almost every time he got the ball in
the second half, causing him trouble both posting up and driving.
After scoring 15 points in the first two periods, he had only one
basket in the third.
He scored on a layup and a jumper in the opening minutes of the
fourth, then made his three straight jumpers in the 10-0 run.
"There's not a whole lot of secrets about what we do and what
they do," Duncan said. "It's about going out there and imposing
San Antonio's 10-0 spurt ended with a breakaway dunk by Manu
Ginobili off a pass from Duncan, putting the Spurs ahead 83-71. San
Antonio outscored the Lakers 17-3 on fast-break points.
Tony Parker added 20 points and nine assists, while Ginobili had
The Spurs also corralled Kobe Bryant in the fourth quarter,
limiting him to six points on 2-for-6 shooting after he scored 12
in the third to put the Lakers ahead.
"They did what they wanted to do and then late they had a big
spurt in them and we didn't," said Bryant, who led the Lakers with
31 points. "They wanted to get into transition and run it, and
that's what they did."
O'Neal scored 19 points and had a game-high 13 rebounds, but
none in the fourth. Karl Malone scored 10, making only one basket
in the final period.
"There were times I was in in the fourth quarter where I didn't
do many positive things," Malone said. "I didn't produce -- not
today at all."
After trailing 41-33 at the break, O'Neal and Bryant got their
inside-outside game into a good rhythm as the Lakers opened the
third quarter with a 13-4 run to take a lead that grew to as many
as seven points.
"We probably came out a little sloppy in the third quarter or
not as aggressive as in the first half," Ginobili said. "In the
fourth quarter we realized our mistakes, we got more aggressive and
they probably got a little tired."
With Los Angeles neutralizing Duncan by double-teaming him on
every touch, Parker took over the offensive burden by driving
inside against slower defenders or pulling up for jumpers,
finishing with 13 points in the third.
"He's really matured in a point guard sort of way," Spurs
coach Gregg Popovich said. "I'll make a call and he'll shake me
off like a pitcher and go call something else. It tells me he's
really feeling like it's his team."
Both teams struggled to score in the game's opening minutes,
together missing 14 of their first 20 shots
A short jump hook by O'Neal with 4:59 in the first gave the
Lakers a 12-5 lead, but the Spurs finished the quarter with a 16-2
Ginobili started the burst with a 3-pointer from the top of the
arc, and Parker capped it by dribbling around Bryant and Malone
before heaving a 31-footer at the buzzer to make the score 21-14.
Los Angeles trimmed the lead to 27-23 early in the second on a
driving layup by Derek Fisher, but the Lakers followed with another
five-minute span without a field goal.
Bryant ended the drought with a 3-pointer to pull Los Angeles to
34-29, but Duncan answered with a pair of midrange jumpers and
Devin Brown made a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to give San
Antonio its biggest lead of the half, 41-31.
O'Neal's postseason free throw struggles continued as he
missed 10 of 13 attempts. Duncan was only 4-for-11 on foul shots
and committed seven turnovers. ... Gary Payton shot just 1-for-8.
... San Antonio's bench outscored the Lakers' reserves, 23-6. ...
Bryant was hit with a technical foul early in the fourth after he
went nose to nose with Rasho Nesterovic. ... The Lakers were
scheduled to return home after the game and come back Tuesday. ...
In the 80 conference semifinals over the past two decades, the
winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the series 66 times.