The San Antonio Spurs certainly made a statement Friday night, as they dominated the Los Angeles Lakers, 120-89, and handed L.A. its worst playoff loss at home in franchise history.
With Tim Duncan leading the way, the San Antonio Spurs easily defeated the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers squad and moved to 3-0 on the series.
On a masterful 12-of-16 shooting, Duncan executed his shots beautifully, scoring 26 points and performing in a manner in which no 37-year-old should be able to.
Duncan certainly set the pace, but he was not alone in his dominating execution. Tony Parker added 20 points and seven assists on the night, as the Spurs moved within one game of a first-round sweep.
Little was expected from the Lakers, who entered the game with a shortage of guards, though Andrew Goudelock—who was officially named D-League MVP prior to the contest—worked hard to keep his struggling squad within reach.
Pau Gasol contributed his fair share as well, and while the big man struggled to score, he left an impact with his rebounding and distributing.
However, the Spurs proved to be too much, and the veteran team bested their opponents from the start. An opening possession turnover from L.A. began what resulted in a tumultuous showing from the Lakers.
Though early fouls on Dwight Howard ensured that the Lakers never truly had a chance, they seemed doomed from the start, as the Spurs exploited the holes in their roster in every possible way.
The Lakers maintained a reasonable distance through the first half, but a powerful third quarter allowed for San Antonio to pull away and garner a sizable lead, something that the Lakers never recovered from.
Gregg Popovich made adjustments to ensure that even Goudelock could not deter the Spurs' effort, as the team cleanly fought its way to a blowout.
The Spurs' otherwise beautiful victory was tainted by an injury to starting big man Tiago Splitter, who finished the game with just five points and six rebounds.
But overall, it was all Spurs, all night, and the victory cast doubt on the possibility of a Hollywood ending for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013.
Things began as expected in Los Angeles.
Even so, the Spurs started hotter than usual. Everything was going right.
The Lakers' start was slow, but it was strong compared to the rest of the first quarter.
Soon, it was evident that the Lakers were going to have a tough time.
The game wasn't decided solely based on L.A.'s struggles, however. San Antonio still performed at a high level.
But the Lakers truly looked lost on the court.
Even Los Angeles' crowd began to lose patience.
All the while, Tony Parker continued to show what he could do.
Then, CBS' Zach Harper offered advice, and the Lakers were able to find the basket.
However, even a Metta World Peace (unintentional) elbow could not prevent the first half from being dominated by the Spurs.
The silver lining: Andrew Goudelock had a night to remember.
Though the night was one that the rest of the team would like to forget.
Meanwhile, San Antonio continued its masterful execution down the stretch, allowing L.A. no chance of a comeback.
A late injury gave Spurs fans a reason to worry...
...though the Lakers fanbase certainly drew the short end of the stick.
And in the end, the Spurs walked away with the lopsided victory.
The Lakers were doomed from the start, but Tim Duncan and Tony Parker ensured that the Spurs would finish Game 3 on top.
Now, leading 3-0, the Spurs are in perfect position to move on to the subsequent round and have rediscovered their mojo in an attempt to piece together another title run.