The Los Angeles Lakers have lost three straight games by at least 10 points for the first time since 2007 as the San Antonio Spurs knocked off the two-time defending NBA champions 97-82 Tuesday night. Tony Parker led the way with 23 points for the Spurs, and second-year forward DeJuan Blair added 17 points and 15 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant shot just 8-27 from the floor for the Lakers, and stud center Pau Gasol got only eight field goal attempts in 34 minutes of action. L.A. had a horrific shooting night, with Andrew Bynum (4-4 off the bench) and Matt Barnes (3-4) putting up the only better-than-50-percent performances. As a team, the Lakers shot just 35 percent. L.A. hasn't shot worse than 36 percent from the floor since a game against the Nuggets early last season.
The Spurs were no model of offensive aptitude, with stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili combining to shoot 4-19 from the floor and the team hitting just nine of 32 three-pointers. San Antonio came into the game shooting a league-best 40.8 percent from long-range. The Lakers are No. 4 in the NBA in three-point defense (33.8 percent).
But San Antonio was able to get more done throughout the game, taking big leads in the first and third quarters before pulling away in the final period.
The Spurs have now opened up a six-game lead on the Lakers in the race for home court advantage in the Western Conference. San Antonio has a league-best 27-4 record, while L.A. falls to 21-10.