Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/19

Game 1: Saturday, January 19th
Game 2: Friday, January 25th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 20th
Game 4: Sunday, March 31st

Lakers 90

(47-20, 21-13 away)

Spurs 108


    Coverage: FSSW

    7:00 PM ET, March 20, 2002

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 25 15 16 3490
    SA 33 29 25 21108

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: B. Shaw 16 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    San Antonio: T. Duncan 25 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Stl

    Lakers blown out for second straight night

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- It's no secret that stopping Shaquille O'Neal is the best way to beat the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bryant had 20 points, but Terry Porter and the Spurs were able to neutralize L.A.'s other offensive weapon.

    The Spurs did exactly that, holding O'Neal to just a pair of field goals, and defeated the Lakers with ease Wednesday night, 108-90.

    O'Neal finished with 17 points, 13 of them coming from the foul line.

    "We played a good, aggressive game on defense," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It allowed us to get into situations to push the basketball. We moved it well."

    The Spurs led by as many as 34 points in the second half while winning their 10th straight. It was their first victory over Los Angeles in three tries this season.

    The Lakers had beaten the Spurs six consecutive times, including a four-game sweep in last year's Western Conference finals. O'Neal averaged 27 points in that series, and he scored 25 in his only game against the Spurs this season.

    O'Neal traced Wednesday's loss back to a night earlier, when Los Angeles was pummelled by the Mavericks in Dallas, 114-98.

    "Last night we got beat straight-out and tonight we came out flat," he said. "They hit some shots early that put us back on our heels."

    A 22-point lead at the half didn't tempt San Antonio to throttle back and possibly let the Lakers back into the game.

    "We came out real focused in the second half," said Tim Duncan, who led the Spurs with 25 points. "The first five to seven minutes of the half is when teams usually make their run. We were able to sustain our energy tonight."

    Reserve Malik Rose added 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting, while David Robinson had 14 and Tony Parker 12.

    Koby Bryant led the Lakers with 20 points. Brian Shaw scored a season-high 16 and Stanislav Medvedenko had 11.

    Bryant was shadowed on the floor by Spurs' defensive specialist Bruce Bowen.

    "He did a good job of taking us out of our rhythm, which is for me to initiate the offense," Bryant said.

    O'Neal, who led all rebounders with 10, made both of his field goals in the first half. He didn't take a single shot from the floor in the second half. The 7-foot-1 center is averaging 27.5 points.

    What was supposed to be a battle between two of the NBA's best teams turned into a rout almost from the get-go.

    San Antonio started to pull away midway through the first period. Duncan connected on three straight jumpers to key a 15-6 run that put the Spurs up by 11 late in the quarter.

    The Lakers made only three of 15 shots in the second, and the Spurs built their advantage as high as 23.

    Bryant went cold after 5-for-6 shooting in the opening period, and O'Neal managed to make only one field goal in six attempts.

    Rose scored 10 points in the second quarter for San Antonio, which shot 59 percent to take a 62-40 lead at the break. Duncan finished the half with 19 points.

    Game notes

    The game was so lopsided in the second half that Turner Sports switched to coverage of the Nuggets-Wizards game. ... The Lakers are 7-9 in the second of back-to-back games. ... The Spurs currently have the longest winning streak in the NBA and are undefeated in March. ... Danny Ferry, who scored a season-high 18 points against Boston on Saturday, made his first start of the season for San Antonio. ... O'Neal didn't score his first basket until 4:45 remained in the first quarter. His only other one came with 4:40 left in the half. ... The teams meet for the final time during the regular season on March 31 in Los Angeles.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 90 108
    FGM-FGA 31-77 (.403) 40-83 (.482)
    3PM-3PA 6-18 (.333) 2-9 (.222)
    FTM-FTA 22-31 (.710) 26-37 (.703)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-39 11-43
    Assists 16 24
    Turnovers 21 16
    Steals 10 11
    Blocks 9 4
    Fast Break Points 8 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (1/0) 26 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    San Antonio
    Brian Shaw Shaw
    Points: 16
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 25
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0