Courtesy of Getty Images / NBA Ent
Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images
It took just four games for the San Antonio Spurs to beat the Los Angeles Lakers. On April 29, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Lakers in the Staple Center 103-82.
“Obviously, it wasn’t a fair fight. When you’re a competitor, you want to compete on an even basis and the Lakers weren’t able to do that, but having said that, they came to play every night and the guys that replaced hurt people played hard and did the best they could. What I was pleased about our team was that we kept our focus every night,” said San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich.
Coach Popovich was referring to the injuries the Lakers suffered right before the playoffs began, which decimated the team.
Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles tendon, Steve Nash tweaked his hamstring, Metta World Peace had to have knee surgery, Steve Blake had an abdominal injury, and Jodi Meeks sprained his wrist.
The Lakers had high hopes entering the 2012-2013 season, but too many injuries at key points in the season prevented the team from playing healthy as a whole unit. It showed in the first round of the NBA playoffs this season.
“It’s been a very tough year, but we’re not going to make any excuses; we’re not going to hold our head down because the things that have happened this season. We’re not going to quit,” said the Lakers All-Star center Dwight Howard.
Though the Lakers had a depleted backcourt, Spurs point guard Tony Parker felt no empathy for the Purple and Gold. He scored 23 points and dished out four assists.
Kawhi Leonard and DeJuan Blair scored 13 points apiece.
Tim Duncan scored 16 points and had 11 rebounds on Lakers Center Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.
“I’m just trying to stay away from their length more than anything. I got a good rhythm early, and I made some shots. If I’m able to stay out of the paint, and stay away from their size and athletic ability and some shots, that’s where I’m being most effective,” said Duncan.
Howard was frustrated the whole series, and his emotions came to a boiling point with 9:51 left in the third quarter when he received his second technical foul and was ejected from the game. He scored only seven points in the game.
Historically, since Tim Duncan’s rookie year, the winner of the Spurs-Lakers playoff matchup has gone on to compete in the NBA Finals.
The Spurs are awaiting the winner of the Warriors-Nuggets matchup. The Warriors currently lead the Nuggets three games to one.