The Lakers showed they can dance with the Spurs, coming all the way back from 20 down in the middle of the 3rd quarter. Home court saved, and the Spurs are scratching their heads, wondering how things got out of hand.
The Lakers struggled in the first-half versus the Spurs in game 1 of their Western Conference Finals showdown, but it was the Spurs that choked down the stretched, running out of gas and making bad mistakes, while the Lakers kept their cool.
LA cool, as it were. The Lakers go up 1-0 in the series that will decide the NBA West champion. The Spurs ran wild in the first 2.5 quarters, opening up a 65-45 lead on the confused Lakers. Slowly, the Lakers calmed their nerves, and turned up the heat against the defending NBA Champions.
The Spurs shot only 3-21 from the field in the 4th quarter, and 1-9 from the 3-point line. Numbers that will provide losses to the Lakers consistently should they continue. Tim Duncan, as always, did his part, scoring 30 points, and grabbing 18 boards. Kobe Bryant was great, scoring 25 of his 27 points in the second-half. Using the first-half to get his teammates into the flow, Bryant dished 9 assists in the game, to go with 5 rebounds. Pau Gasol added 19 points, and 7 rebounds as well.
The Spurs blew a golden opportunity in Los Angeles, and in a long, tight series, the difference many times comes down to games like this. More importantly, the Lakers know this, and their confidence level is soaring.