Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Spurs beat Lakers 112-111 on Mason's 3-point play

The first meeting between the Western Conference finalists last season was almost a repeat of the Lakers' win the other night in Houston. The Lakers rallied from 11 points down in the fourth quarter, taking a two-point lead when Kobe Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left.

But Roger Mason hit a jumper with 10 seconds left and made a free throw after being fouled by Derek Fisher. The Lakers had a chance to win the game, with the Spurs just leading by a point, but Trevor Ariza was called for traveling on their last possession with 0.8 seconds left in the game, and the Spurs beat the Lakers 112-111 on Wednesday night.

Kobe Bryant had a very efficient game with 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting with 10 rebounds and seven assists in 42 minutes. Pau Gasol, rebounding from two previous ineffective games, played well offensively in this game, scoring 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting but had only five rebounds and an assist in 32 minutes.

Andrew Bynum had 18 points and just three rebounds in 35 minutes. Derek Fisher added 16 points in 36 minutes.

Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom and Josh Powell contributed 10, 9, and 6 points, respectively, off-the-bench.

Manu Ginobilli topscored for the Spurs with 27 points. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker both contributed 20 points. Roger Mason scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.

Already playing without their backup point guard, Jordan Farmar, the Lakers had a brief scare when Derek Fisher left with longtime trainer Garry Vitti to the locker room after a collision with San Antonio's George Hill on a drive. He missed almost 4 1/2 minutes of actual game time but emerge back with 3:37 left in the fourth quarter.

With Sasha Vujacic day-to-day because of back spasms, the Lakers were forced to use Kobe Bryant at point guard until Fisher returned.

The Spurs and Lakers have been rivals over the last 10 years. The Spurs have won four NBA championships during that span while the Lakers have won three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002.

The two teams have met in the playoffs six times in the last 10 years, with the Lakers having won the series four times, including a 4-1 series win over the Spurs in last season's Western Conference finals.


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