Lakers 100 Spurs 92 – Los Angeles didn’t want to go back to San Antonio. Down 17 points early, Kobe Bryant (39 pts) led the comeback that would end the defending champions reign on top of the NBA. The Spurs came out hot, using a 15-1 run to push the lead to 33-16. But the Lakers never panicked. Phil Jackson never swayed from his gameplan, gave his stars the rest and let the bench fight back. Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Ronny Turiaf and starter Lamar Odom got the deficit down to 11. Eventually the lead was trimmed to six at the half.
The momentum carried over to the second half and the Spurs had no answer. Tim Duncan was his usual awesome with 19 points and 15 rebounds. But it is Manu Ginobili who will want to forget this series. Coming into the series averaging around 20, Ginobili struggled missing big shot after big shot. With San Antonio down seven with under six to go, baskets by Brent Barry and Tony Parker cut it to 2. And just when they have a chance to seize the lead, Manu again misses an open shot.
The Lakers now have a week before the Finals start in either Boston of Detroit. And way to go Sasha Vujacic. Kudos for shooting a three with time running out. Great sportsmanship. WAY TO COVER THE -7.5!