The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 103-82, sweeping Los Angeles out of the playoffs and advancing to the Western Conference semifinals. The Spurs will face either the Golden State Warriors or Denver Nuggets in the next round, and will have a chance to rest while they await their next opponent.
A season full of struggle for the Lakers ended with the same tone as Dwight Howard was ejected early in the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul. With the Lakers' season coming to an end, Howard's future with Los Angeles is up in the air as he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Howard ended the game with seven points, eight rebounds, and five turnovers. Late in the game, Kobe Bryant took a seat on the bench, leading to a standing ovation from the Staples Center crowd.
Unfortunately for Lakers fans, Bryant's trip to the bench may have been the only highlight through the game as the Spurs defeated Los Angeles without much trouble.
The Spurs were led by Tony Parker's 23 points. While Parker did take a spill in the first quarter while chasing a loose ball, he returned to the game and was a key for San Antonio as they swept away the Lakers. The Lakers had no answer for Parker as he took advantage of the Lakers' porous defense.
Tim Duncan put in an understated 11-point game while the Spurs picked the Lakers apart. The Spurs' bench scored 41 points, giving Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Parker a short night. The Spurs controlled the game from the opening tip and didn't need extended minutes from their featured players to move on from the first round of the playoffs.
It was a sloppy game for the Lakers who had as many made field goals (15) as they did turnovers (15) through the first half of play. They cut down on the turnovers through the second half, but the Spurs had already taken control of the game, and the Lakers were unable to threaten the Spurs' lead.
Pau Gasol scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out five assists before he went to the bench in the fourth quarter.
The Spurs and Lakers part ways once again, with the Spurs looking forward to continuing their playoff dominance while the Lakers have a long offseason ahead.