Lakers 99, Spurs 83: Kobe Bryant, Defending Champs Dominate NBA's Best In San Antonio

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Lakers Vs. Spurs Final Score: Kobe Bryant Leads Los Angeles To Dominant 99-83 Win

After an uneventful fourth quarter, the Lakers have come away from San Antonio with one of their most impressive wins of the season, topping the Spurs 99-83.

Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 26 points and added seven rebounds and five assists. His frontcourt stepped up, too: Pau Gasol had 21 points and Andrew Bynum pulled down 17 rebounds.

The only position that produced a double-digit scorer for the Spurs was point guard. And Tony Parker, George Hill, and Gary Neal combined for 43 points, but that was nowhere near enough to keep up with the Lakers, who put on a clinic from the opening tip. They lead by 21 after the first quarter and 29 entering the fourth quarter before reserves gave back some of the massive advantage, and never appeared threatened in the slightest.

It was a tremendous performance, one that had Magic Johnson, in attendance at the game, tweeting that it was the best game the Lakers have played this season. And for the Spurs, it may have been their least inspiring performance.

That doesn't mean that the Lakers have taken the Spurs' rep as the NBA's best team. But it was at the very least a terrifying reminder that when the Lakers are healthy, motivated, and clicking, they are nearly impossible to beat.

For more on this game, Lakers fans should head to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles, and Spurs fans should join Pounding The Rock.

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Lakers Steamrolling Spurs In San Antonio Through Three Quarters

The second part of ABC's Sunday NBA doubleheader does not appear headed for the same sort of dramatic finish the Bulls and Heat put together. It's 81-52 in the Lakers' favor after three quarters in San Antonio.

The Lakers have thoroughly outclassed the NBA-leading Spurs through three periods, besting them in literally every statistical category but fouls and turnovers — and that's because the Lakers have just one turnover to the Spurs' six, while both teams have 12 fouls. Kobe Bryant leads all scorers with 24 points, and five Lakers have eight or more points; Andrew Bynum still lags the rest of his teammates in the points column, but he has 15 rebounds, six offensive.

The Spurs are struggling at every position but point guard. Tony Parker and George Hill have combined for 26 points, meaning that the rest of the Spurs' deep and talented roster, including Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, has combined for just 26 points.

ABC's already resorted to a sideline interview with a fan who had coffee spilled on him when Ron Artest ran into him while running down a loose ball.

Expect the fourth quarter to be even worse than that sounds.

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Lakers Vs. Spurs Score: Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum Have San Antonio In Bad Shape

The best team in the NBA is looking like the pre-All-Star Weekend Los Angeles Lakers today, as the San Antonio Spurs trail L.A. 65-37 at the half. That’s a lot of points. I tried to go look up a great stat that showed the Spurs have taken entire games to give up about that many points, but they haven’t. Pretty much every San Antonio game is a 101-91 Spurs win.

Sometimes even the Spurs get bored of being the Spurs, I guess.

Kobe Bryant has 17 points and six rebounds, with Andrew Bynum’s eight boards contributing to Los Angeles’ mighty rebounding advantage on the day. The Lakers defense has been all over the place, with both Ron Artest and Bynum posting multiple steals/blocks.

Is anything going right for San Antonio? Tony Parker is shooting 50 percent and doesn’t have any turnovers. Then again, he only has one assist, so other than that, it’s about the worst half of San Antonio hoops you’ll see all year.

For more on this game, Lakers fans should head to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles, and Spurs fans should join Pounding The Rock.

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Kobe Bryant Leads Lakers To Huge First Quarter Against Spurs

Friday night, the Spurs torched the Heat. Sunday afternoon appears likely to bring another blowout — with San Antonio on the receiving end. Through one quarter in San Antonio, it's the Lakers up big, with a 34-13 lead on the team with the NBA's best record.

The Lakers have gotten contributions from virtually every major player so far. Seven Lakers have scored, and four of their five starters have five or more points. Andrew Bynum, the only one without that many points, has made up for it on the glass, snagging eight rebounds in the first 12 minutes.

That's a bad, bad recipe for the Spurs, who have owned the Lakers and been excellent at home in the 2010-11 season. Tony Parker leads San Antonio with six points, but he's the only Spur with more than one make so far, and no San Antonio player has been able to get to the foul line.

If the Lakers are looking to make a statement against one of the NBA's reigning powers, they're well on their way. But this "We're not done yet!" performance certainly isn't over yet, either.

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Lakers Vs. Spurs: Kobe Bryant, L.A. Look To Break San Antonio's Spell

The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the many teams unable to solve the San Antonio Spurs this season. The Spurs are a league-best 51-11, having clinched a record 12th consecutive 50-win season earlier this week, and having most recently pounded the excellent Miami Heat by 30 points. Sometimes, it doesn't seem fair that the Spurs, who first won a title with Tim Duncan 12 years ago, and who have three titles in the last decade with this very core, are still this good. Kobe Bryant, of course, has led the Lakers to five titles in the last 10 seasons, but he has had a league MVP (Shaquille O'Neal) depart and a perennial All-Star (Pau Gasol) arrive in that span. For the Spurs, it's been -- as always -- Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

San Antonio's offense has famously exploded into a new dimension this season; over the last few seasons, the Spurs had quietly fallen into mediocrity on offense while the defense maintained its reputation. Gregg Popovich reformed the offense quite a bit in the offseason, and the Spurs are No. 2 in points per possession, no small feat. The defense, however, has slipped a bit, but is still quite strong at No. 7 in the league. Moreover, great offensive teams like the Heat and these very Lakers have still been unable to figure out how to score on the Spurs.

The Lakers haven't broken 90 points in two games against San Antonio. Back in December, the Spurs defeated the Lakers 97-82, with L.A. shooting just 35 percent from the floor and scoring about 0.85 points per possession -- truly dreadful on both accounts. In early February, the Lakers were better on offense, shooting 42 percent and averaging about 1 points per possession. But those figures are well below L.A.'s standard, and the Spurs were able to sneak a win on Antonio McDyess' clinching tip despite a mediocre offensive performance of their own.

It should be more of the same on Sunday, when the teams pair off for the final time until the final week of the season, at which point seedings should be sown up. The Lakers visit the Spurs at 3:30 PM Eastern on ABC. For Lakers' analysis, visit Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles. For Spurs' analysis, check out Pounding The Rock.

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