Playing without their starters on Tuesday night, the San Antonio Spurs put up a fight, but couldn’t keep pace with the Los Angeles Lakers in a 102-93 loss. Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 27 points despite being saddled with foul trouble, keeping the Lakers in the hunt for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
While Bryant took on the bulk of the scoring, he did get help from the rest of his team as Lamar Odom came off the bench to add 23 points and seven rebounds. With Andrew Bynum out with a knee injury, Odom stepped up, filling in on the offensive end in 36 minutes of play. Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher were also in double-figures, scoring 17 and 13 points, respectively. Shannon Brown chipped-in nine points off the bench, as well.
With the regular starters out, it was up to the Spurs’ reserves, and many were up to the task. Gary Neal led the way with 16 points and Matt Bonner added 13 points off the bench. DeJuan Blair had a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the loss. George Hill added 11 points with Richard Jefferson and Steve Novak each adding 10.
With the win, the Lakers moved into a tie with the Dallas Mavericks for the No. 2 seed in the West with just one game left to play. The Spurs already have the No. 1 seed in the West locked up, but are still playing for home-court advantage throughout, including the NBA Finals.