The Los Angeles Lakers fought hard against the Western Conference's best team Tuesday night, but the San Antonio Spurs still salvaged an 84-82 victory.
Despite Kobe Bryant's 28-point, eight-assist effort, the Lakers fell at the last minute. With time running out, Pau Gasol tried to redeem his poor performance with a game-winning three-point shot, but he missed his mark.
Bryant was the only real standout for the struggling Lakers. Dwight Howard contributed 13 points and 15 rebounds, but he also had six turnovers and five fouls. Tim Duncan was still able to score 18 points, and Howard couldn't stop Tiago Splitter from nearly getting a double-double.
San Antonio didn't gain a real advantage until the third quarter, but winning that period 22-16 wound up making the difference in the end.
For a complete look at the box score, check out NBA.com.
Player of the Game: Tony Parker
When Parker is on, the Spurs are nearly unstoppable. Tuesday night, he paced the offense with a 19-point, seven-assist performance. Making that line look even better is his one turnover in 34:02 of playing time.
Parker's ability to penetrate makes San Antonio's attack so dangerous. He's an incredible scorer in the paint, and the team's overall chemistry gives him a constant feel for where everyone is on the floor.
The Spurs are going to win a lot of games this year, and their All-Star point guard is a major reason for that.
What's Next for the San Antonio Spurs?
The 7-1 Spurs will face the undefeated New York Knicks on Thursday.
What's Next for the Los Angeles Lakers?
The 3-5 Lakers will try to improve their mark against the Phoenix Suns on Friday.