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Spurs knock off Lakers in Game 1
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 21, 2013 @ 7:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO — It made perfect sense that the San Antonio Spurs could be in trouble in their first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
They were barely worthy of being a playoff team down the stretch of the regular season, which means they may as well have been, well, the Lakers. They were vulnerable, ailing, on the decline, ripe for the sort of first-round upset that the Lakers said they were capable of as they found a way to survive without Kobe Bryant and surged into the postseason after all these tumultuous months.
Or, perhaps, not.
The Spurs took a 1-0 series lead with a formula soaked in formaldehyde — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili doing what they’ve done for 12 years now in a 91-79 win at a raucous AT&T Center. The trio totaled 54 points in a dominating opener for the Spurs, who led by double digits in the first quarter and had all but wrapped the game up by the time the fourth rolled around.
In this oldie-but-goodie series in which one never knows what to expect from the respective elderly, Ginobili was every bit the energizer coming off an injury as he has been throughout his wondrous career. Despite being rusty because of the nine games he recently missed with a right hamstring problem, and despite having his playing time limited as a result, Ginobili ensured the Lakers wouldn’t escape with the sort of upset that could have changed everything in a series like this one in which — because of the unique circumstances on both sides – confidence and momentum could matter even more than the norm.
Ginobili’s best work came late in the third quarter, when two free throws from Antawn Jamison cut the Spurs’ lead to seven points. Ginobili hit a runner over Pau Gasol in the lane, then buried a three from atop the key. Last but certainly not least, his three in transition from the right-wing after a Steve Blake turnover had sparked the fastbreak was vintage Manu, putting the Spurs up 70-57 entering the fourth quarter. In all, 10 of Ginobili’s … [For more on San Antonio Spurs knock off Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1, click here.]
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