Spurs Down 3-1, Series Hangs in Balance
The Spurs now have their backs totally against the wall, after losing at home to the Lakers to fall behind 3-1 in the series. The 93-91 loss was a heartbreaker for San Antonio, who now must win three straight to have a chance to defend their championship. Tim Duncan can’t be blamed for the loss, as he gave a superhuman effort in the loss, scoring 29 points, and grabbing 17 rebounds.
The big man also added several blocks and assists to try to help his team move forward. With Manu Ginobili having yet another off night, Brent Barry stepped up, scoring 23 points, and missing a three as time expired, which would have won the game, and tied the series. There was obvious contact on his shot, but no foul was called, much to the dismay of the Spurs, and the home crowd.
Ginobili was quite simply terrible throughout the game, scoring his first points with just over a minute left in the third quarter, and finishing with 7 points. He did hit a three late in the game to bring his team to within 4 points, but it was not enough. Tony Parker held up his end of the bargain, scoring 23 points, but no one else was even a factor for San Antonio. Michael Finley, Fabricio Oberto, and Kurt Thomas all failed to score. Robert Horry scored two points, and Bruce Bowen managed seven. Surprisingly, as a team, the Spurs still managed to shoot 40% from the field, although only 29% from behind the arc.
Again, the Spurs had no answer for the MVP, Kobe Bryant, who scored 28 points and had 10 rebounds. The Lakers were more balanced in the game, having 4 players scoring in double digits and another with 9 points.
Although the Spurs only had 8 turnovers in the game, the difference was in the rebounding. LA outrebounded San Antonio 46-37, many of those being offensive rebounds which led to second chance points for the Lakers.
San Antonio must win the next game in Los Angeles to allow the series to come back to San Antonio for Game 6, but the Spurs are in as desperate a situation as they have been in their playoff lives. It is now a one game series, with no room for mistakes. One loss and the Spurs will once again repeat their history of winning a championship and not being able to defend it the next year. Let’s hope they can get on a roll and surprise the people who are already counting them out.