Spurs Back Home, Rout LA 103-84
Finally back in the comfy confines of the AT&T Center, the Spurs showed that even down 0-2 they are far from done in this series against the Lakers, and even though they may be older, they’ve still got plenty left in the tank. Unlike in Game 1 of the series, this time the Spurs built a lead, and managed to hang on. For San Antonio, all the pieces were working for the first time in this series, and one of their main scorers, Manu Ginobili, finally found his shot. Ginobili had barely cracked double digits in the first two games, and was nursing a pair of injuries, but exploded for thirty points in the 103-84 win. In fact, Ginobili scored more points in the first half of the contest (22) than he did in the first two games combined (17).
Actually, all of San Antonio’s main players got into their grooves in the contest. Tim Duncan put up a vintage game, scoring 22 points, and adding 21 rebounds and 4 assists. Tony Parker scored 20 and had 5 assists Sunday night.
Unlike in Game 1, the Spurs managed to keep their lead late in the game. San Antonio had a 12 point lead starting the final period in Game 3, and after a 12-4 run to start the period, they extended the lead and never looked back, despite the best efforts of Kobe Bryant. Bryant tried to single-handedly bring LA back, as he made 4 three pointers in 2 ½ minutes in the quarter and pulled LA to within 8, but it was as close as San Antonio would allow them to get. Bryant ended the game with 30 points, but San Antonio’s defense managed to slow the rest of the Lakers down. Lamar Odom, in particular, had a rough night for Los Angeles, only managing 7 points, on 2-11 shooting.
As a team, San Antonio shot 51% from the field, and almost 57% from behind the arc—a vast improvement over the previous contests. LA didn’t help themselves any, shooting less than 50% from the free throw line, and turning the ball over 12 times.
The Spurs are back in the series, and must win again in Game 4 to keep the series alive before heading back to LA. If the Spurs can draw even in the next game, then they will need to steal one in Los Angeles to be able to move onto the Finals against whoever comes out of the East. Home court makes all the difference in the playoffs this year, even more so than other years. San Antonio has yet to lose on their own real estate in the playoffs this year, so the chances seem good for them to even the series up in Game 4.