The Spurs improved to 41-8 on the season last night as Antonio McDyess' late game-winner improved the Spurs to 2-0 against the Lakers this year.
The Lakers were down by as much as eight in the fourth quarter but made a roaring comeback. Kobe Bryant had a poor game as he shot 5-for-18 for only 16 points. Lamar Odom had a three with just over a minute to go to cut the Spurs' lead to one at 87-86. Gasol, who scored 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting, made two free throws with 22.7 seconds to go to give the Lakers a one-point lead.
On the next possession, Ginobili missed a three, then Parker missed a floater but the Spurs got the ball back with 4.6 seconds to go. The play was designed to go to All-Star Manu Ginobili but the ball ended up in Tim Duncan's hands and his shot with 2.1 seconds to go rimmed out.
Luckily, Antonio McDyess, who had 6 offensive rebounds on the night, was there again to tip the ball in with about 0.2 seconds to go on the clock. "I haven't had too many [game-wining shots], probably two or three. It was big. Probably the biggest one I've ever [had]," McDyess said. It was a spectacular tip in that gave the Spurs the win and is definitely one of the best plays of the year in a big game so far this season.
Phil Jackson did not need to stay for the review. He went straight into the locker room as he knew what the outcome was already. The Lakers gave up two offensive rebounds on the final possession and also let the ball hit off them out of bounds.
This type of sloppy play is not usually seen out of Los Angeles late in tight games but they are having an off year. The Zen master stressed the importance before tonight's marquee matchup of winning the Western Conference.
"It's all about your conference and it's about winning your conference," he said.
The Lakers fall to 34-16 and they are now only third in the conference as Dallas vaulted ahead of them last night. Los Angeles is not used to being this low in the conference and they are only 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Meanwhile, the Spurs improved to an NBA best 41-8. They are 7.5 games clear of the Mavericks and Lakers and they are 28-5 in the West this year. They are 8-2 in their last 10 and have the best road record at 16-6.
Kobe Bryant just missed a triple-double as he had 9 assists and 10 rebounds. Five Lakers scored in double figures in this game. Bynum had 10, Odom had 16 and Artest had 13. Gasol was voted in as an All-Star reserve last night, he will join his teammate Kobe Bryant at the All-Star game. Kobe is a starter for the Western Conference.
For the Spurs, Tony Parker led the way with 21 points, while Richard Jefferson (18 points) and Manu Ginobili (14 points) also played well. All-Star Tim Duncan had only 8 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were both named as All-Star reserves last night. Mcdyess had 8 points and 8 rebounds.