Parker, Spurs down Lakers in Game 2
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO – Metta World Peace may have been right about Gregg Popovich.
Maybe, as the Los Angeles Lakers small forward said recently, the San Antonio Spurs’ general could coach five old ladies deep into the NBA playoffs.
But as the Lakers fell 102-91 to the Spurs on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center to fall behind 2-0 in their Western Conference first-round series, this much became clear: Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni won’t likely be doing the same with his group of elderly men.
Even with all the improvements from Game One, the improved shooting, fighting spirit, sound gameplan and the like, the wheels on the Lakers’ walkers just keep on spinning. They’re too banged up, too battered and bruised from a season’s worth of struggles to pull off this type of task.
It was there for all to see midway through the fourth quarter, when 39-year-old Steve Nash broke free for an underhanded runner that cut the Spurs’ lead to 10 points and was his vintage style up until the painful point after the play. Nash, just two games into his return from hip and hamstring problems and with nerves that clearly screamed at him all game long, turned to run to the other end and looked like a boomerang that just kept going.
From Nash to Metta World Peace (knee) to Kobe Bryant (season-ending Achilles tendon tear) to the latest player to come back from surgery earlier than expected, Jordan Hill (hip), even the most basic of movements are problematic for so many of these Lakers. The injury list grew yet again on Wednesday, as point guard Steve Blake strained his right hamstring, Nash aggravated his hip problem bad enough in the first half that he’ll have his third epidural on Thursday morning and may not play in Game Three on Friday in Los Angeles. For good measure, guard Jodie Meeks didn’t play after spraining his left ankle in Game One. And the Spurs are clearly not above parking in their handicap spot.
The defense that both teams could boast about in the opener was still there for the Spurs, who held the … [For more on Tony Parker, Spurs down hobbling Lakers in Game 2, click here.]