LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Gregg Popovich enjoyed the show, especially watching Michael Finley and Tony Parker match shots with Kobe Bryant down the stretch.
"It was a very entertaining game for the fans," the San Antonio coach said following the Spurs' 103-96 victory Monday night over the Lakers.
"And yes, I enjoyed Kobe at the end there as well as the fans. Tony Parker and Michael Finley made shots each time Kobe did. It was nice to see."
Bryant made three shots from behind the arc and scored 17 of his 43 points with the Lakers trying to play catch-up in the fourth quarter, but Finley responded with four 3-pointers and had 14 points in the period to help the Spurs win their seventh straight. Parker added eight points in the quarter.
San Antonio scored 36 points on 12-for-23 shooting from beyond the arc, with Finley and Manu Ginobili both going 5-for-6 and scoring 21 points. Parker also had 21 points and added eight assists.
Tim Duncan had 18 points, nine assists and seven rebounds when
he left with 5:45 remaining after the Lakers' Smush Parker poked
him in the right eye reaching for the ball.
Although his eye was bloodshot, Duncan said he didn't expect to miss Tuesday night's game against the Clippers.
"There was a little pain for a while and it got a little inflamed for a while, but it's fine," he said. "As of right now, I'm seeing as well as I ever did, so I'll be fine. Those things happen."
Said Parker: "It was a loose ball, I was coming around the blind side and I thought I had a steal. But he just ran right into my swipe and I think I raked him across the face. I kind of poked him in the eye."
Ginobili hit four 3-pointers to help the Spurs take control with
a 21-4 run in the first five minutes of the third quarter on the
way to their seventh win in a row over the Lakers, the defending
NBA champions' longest victory streak in the series.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson had said before the game: "For their
team, it's just a dance, these 82 games before the playoffs. For
us, it's the Bataan (Death) March."
Bryant said the Spurs played their game against the Lakers.
"That is experience and age. That is being veterans and knowing
what they need to do within their system to maximize the whole
thing," Bryant said. "They have guys over there who are extremely
"Their spacing was excellent and they knocked down 3-pointer
Lamar Odom had 13 points and seven rebounds, but he and Bryant
were the only scorers in double figures for Los Angeles.
San Antonio trailed by two at halftime, but took command with
the third-quarter burst. Ginobili was good on all four of his shots
from 3-point range, including three in a row during a 61-second
span to build the 15-point pad.
The Spurs were up 79-64 heading into the fourth quarter and the
Lakers closed within seven points in the closing moments of the
Los Angeles signed free agent swingman Jim Jackson on
Monday and waived F Slava Medvedenko. "It's a great opportunity
for me to help a young team teetering right on the cusp of staying
in that eighth position and being able to take it to the next
step," Jackson said. "It's also an opportunity for me to come in
and play some good minutes. I've got a lot left." The 35-year-old
Jackson was waived by Phoenix Suns on Wednesday and has career
averages of 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 872 games.