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Days after pulsating win, Lakers show no pulse in loss to Spurs

The Lakers, who six days earlier posted a resounding 14-point win in San Antonio, barely show up in 112-91 loss to the Spurs at Staples Center, and L.A.'s lead over Clippers is cut to a half-game.

April 17, 2012|By Ben Bolch

This would have made more sense last week in San Antonio.

With Kobe Bryant sidelined, the Lakers look frazzled and fell apart against the Spurs.

The Lakers actually stuck it to San Antonio six days earlier, but they were the ones who looked overwhelmed and clueless in the rematch Tuesday night at Staples Center during a 112-91 loss.

Center Andrew Bynum didn't come anywhere close to matching the 30 rebounds he secured in the last meeting, finishing with seven to go with 21 points. The Lakers were often discombobulated on offense, committing 20 turnovers.

And it didn't help that Bryant was still sidelined by the sore left shin that has now forced him to miss six consecutive games.

The Lakers also had difficultly exerting much effort on defense, allowing San Antonio to shoot 59.5%. Guard Tony Parker was a game-long nuisance, scoring 29 points on 14-for-20 shooting to go with 13 assists.

"We got a behind-kicking tonight," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said.

Parker had been out of sorts last week while scoring four points and making only two of 12 shots during a 98-84 Lakers victory in which they led by as many as 26 points.

The Spurs were the ones with the big lead this time after closing the first half on a 26-8 run amid a flurry of Lakers turnovers.

San Antonio held a 63-47 halftime advantage and would lead by as many as 24 points in the second half.

"That's what great teams do, they bounce back," said Lakers point guard Ramon Sessions, who had 10 points but also four turnovers.

Spurs center Tim Duncan, who had looked old and lethargic in the last meeting between these teams, had 19 points and eight rebounds Tuesday.

The Spurs broke the 100-point barrier with 4 minutes 32 seconds left. Things were so out of hand that seldom-used Lakers Jordan Hill and Darius Morris played in the final minutes.

Pau Gasol and Matt Barnes each had 16 points for the Lakers, whose lead over the Clippers in the Pacific Division, and for third place in the Western Conference, was shaved to a half-game.

Bynum was assertive in the first quarter, scoring 13 points on several power moves that included two alley-oop layups. But he couldn't keep up the pace, scoring only eight points the rest of the game.

"A lot of dumb stuff on the court cost us tonight," Bynum said. "We could never recover."

Lakers miscues came in bunches in the second quarter, with five consecutive possessions ending in turnovers that fed San Antonio during an 18-0 run.

Metta World Peace played fewer than four minutes in the second quarter after picking up his third foul, an offensive foul that he described as "a bad call" after the game.

"When Metta was out we lost control of the tempo of the game," Brown said. "They sped us up."

On the plus side, Bryant could rejoin the Lakers by the time these teams meet again Friday in San Antonio.

Brown said the star shooting guard continued to progress in his recovery but noted he "most likely" would not play Wednesday against Golden State in Oakland. The Lakers have four games left in the regular season.

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