|Western Conference - Round 1 - Best of 7 - Game 4 - SAS Leads 3-0|
|Last 5 Games||3-2||-3||3-2||4-1||102.8||54.8||47.6%||49.8||96.6||47.8||46.1%||48.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||103.1||51.4||39-81||48.2%||8-21||37.5%||17-21||79.1%||49||8||25||17||9||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.6||49.7||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.3%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||101.9||48.8||38-82||46.8%||8-22||36.6%||17-21||78.7%||49||8||24||18||9||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||96.3||47.3||37-85||44.2%||6-18||35.0%||15-20||75.6%||50||11||21||19||8||14||5|
|vs opponents averaging||98.6||49.7||37-82||45.4%||7-20||35.7%||17-23||75.1%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||98.7||47.1||38-86||44.5%||6-18||34.5%||16-21||76.4%||52||12||22||19||8||14||6|
|Last 5 Games||2-3||-0.5||2-3||2-3||89.8||43.2||40.4%||55.0||98.8||49.8||45.6%||53.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||101.6||51.5||37-81||45.7%||9-24||35.2%||19-28||69.1%||54||11||22||18||7||15||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.4||49.4||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.5%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||102.3||52.6||38-81||46.6%||9-24||35.4%||18-27||66.4%||56||12||24||17||7||15||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||101.2||52.0||40-87||45.5%||7-21||35.7%||14-19||73.4%||51||11||23||23||9||12||5|
|vs opponents averaging||98.8||49.7||37-82||45.5%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.9%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||97.9||49.7||39-87||44.5%||7-21||32.9%||13-18||72.4%||50||11||24||23||9||12||5|
|Average power rating of opponents played: SAN ANTONIO 96, LA LAKERS 96.4|
|4/4/2013||@ OKLAHOMA CITY||88-100||L||7.5||L||201||U||33-83||39.8%||47||10||38-82||46.3%||51||12|
|4/14/2013||@ LA LAKERS||86-91||L||-3.5||L||193||U||33-89||37.1%||57||8||31-85||36.5%||69||14|
|4/15/2013||@ GOLDEN STATE||106-116||L||7||L||199||O||45-98||45.9%||45||15||46-85||54.1%||55||21|
|4/26/2013||@ LA LAKERS||120-89||W||-6.5||W||184||O||52-85||61.2%||53||14||35-81||43.2%||40||13|
|4/28/2013||@ LA LAKERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|3/25/2013||@ GOLDEN STATE||103-109||L||1||L||205.5||O||36-91||39.6%||60||9||43-90||47.8%||59||11|
|4/7/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||95-109||L||4.5||L||199||O||33-76||43.4%||42||11||42-84||50.0%||55||10|
|4/21/2013||@ SAN ANTONIO||79-91||L||9||L||191||U||30-73||41.1%||55||18||32-85||37.6%||54||9|
|4/24/2013||@ SAN ANTONIO||91-102||L||9||L||188.5||O||37-82||45.1%||43||13||42-82||51.2%||49||8|
|4/28/2013||SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|SAN ANTONIO: GUARDS: TONY PARKER played at an MVP level last year. His eye injury is obviously not an issue, and he was constantly getting on coach Gregg Popovich to let him finish meaningless games last year. There's no reason he can't repeat last year's performance . . . MANU GINOBILI dealt with a series of nagging injuries last year, and it's clear the team will have to monitor his regular-season workload . . . GARY NEAL provides solid minutes in this rotation, mostly at the point, and is able to consistently knock down threes . . . DANNY GREEN's rotation spot is in a bit of peril. He was too much of an offensive liability in last year's Western Conference Finals . . . NANDO de COLO is a combo guard who can provide instant offense off the bench. He can shoot it and does a nice job getting to the line . . . PATTY MILLS steps in as another viable option in this loaded backcourt . . . CORY JOSEPH's roster spot is in jeopardy after a middling D-League season. FORWARDS: TIM DUNCAN will continue to save it up for the playoffs. He still has plenty left in the tank, but he'll get tons of rest in March and April and more and more often defers to Tony Parker on offense when he does play . . . There's plenty to like about KAWHI LEONARD, who proved to be useful on both ends of the court last season. He'll be asked to be a little more aggressive offensively this year and should even have a couple of sets designed for him . . . STEPHEN JACKSON was a bit of a disaster in Milwaukee before landing with the Spurs last year. He's another veteran who will be paced during the regular season. And while he's been a facilitator in the past, he's really just a catch-and-shoot guy in San Antonio . . . MATT BONNER will continue to come off the bench and hoist some threes. CENTERS: BORIS DIAW's pick-and-pop ability makes him Popovich's top choice in the center rotation . . . TIAGO SPLITTER looks to be a career second-unit guy. He works hard and can defend, but he's just too clunky on the offensive end . . . DeJUAN BLAIR can pick up some cheap baskets, but his lack of offensive skills and defensive size makes him a fringe rotation player.|
|LA LAKERS: GUARDS: Coach Mike Brown will reportedly turn the offensive gameplan over to STEVE NASH, but it's tough to picture a smooth transition after so many years of iso-heavy play in L.A. Don't be surprised if Nash has a tough adjustment . . . KOBE BRYANT will also have to learn to play with the ball out of his hands more often. He still figures to force some hold-and-wait basketball when he can . . . STEVE BLAKE will be in the old Derek Fisher role, coming off the bench to shoot corner threes . . . CHRIS DUHON and DARIUS MORRIS will battle for that No. 3 point guard spot . . . JODIE MEEKS will back up Bryant and provide some long-range shooting off the bench . . . The young guys, ANDREW GOUDELOCK and second-rounder DARIUS JOHNSON-ODOM, will bounce between the bench and the D-League. FORWARDS: If L.A. redesigns their offense to fit Nash, PAU GASOL should thrive. He's adjusted his game to fit with Kobe's iso play, but Gasol can make the passes and cuts to create quick buckets in a Euro-style offense . . . METTA WORLD PEACE looked done early last season but rebounded for a solid second half. He's a distant fifth option on offense, but can still defend . . . ANTAWN JAMISON will likely fill a sixth-man role. His skill set is too narrow to play a lot of minutes with the starters . . . JORDAN HILL is in the rotation. He did a nice job rebounding and clearing out space last year . . . DEVIN EBANKS figures to be bumped out of the rotation by Jamison. CENTERS: DWIGHT HOWARD's back remains a bit of a concern, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him sit out a handful of regular season games. But when he plays, he'll put up the same kind of monster production that he had in Orlando . . . ROBERT SACRE will be lucky to make the roster.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (SAN ANTONIO-LA LAKERS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates. With AP Photos.)
*Spurs-Lakers Preview* ======================
By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer
San Antonio At La Lakers, Game Two, 10:30 p.m. EDT
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Steve Nash needed three injections for pain relief on the Los Angeles Lakers' day off. He's still more likely to play in Game 3 on Friday night than Steve Blake or Jodie Meeks.
And just in case anybody forgot, Kobe Bryant is at home in a walking boot, his season over.
Late in a season featuring just about every tribulation imaginable, the Lakers have almost no healthy guards - never mind anybody who could keep up with Tony Parker.
If they can't cover the gaping holes in their backcourt and figure out how to slow the San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers' tumultuous season probably won't extend past the weekend.
Los Angeles still has two star big men, but even Dwight Howard realizes this patchwork roster is getting awfully flimsy. He won't use it as an excuse for whatever happens after the Spurs took firm control of the series in Texas.
"We have total confidence that we can come back and win this series," Howard said after a light practice at the Lakers' training complex. "We believe in each other. We worked too hard to get to the playoffs. We had to fight to get in. We're not just going to give up because we're down and we have a lot of guys that are injured."
But the Lakers realize they're in a tight spot heading back to Staples Center. Nash and Meeks, who has a sprained left ankle, are doubtful for Game 3 when the Lakers attempt to get started on just the third comeback from an 0-2 playoff series deficit in franchise history.
Coach Mike D'Antoni said Blake is definitely out with a strained right hamstring. Nash attempted to remain optimistic after getting two epidural injections and a cortisone injection - his third pain-relieving injections in a week - on his sore back and hamstrings.
"Fingers crossed that it helps at all, and second, that it helps that quickly," Nash said. "I have been called a doctor of chemistry by certain people in the media, but I couldn't make a prediction. ... I'm still in a lot of discomfort, not only from last night, but from getting a bunch of darts stuck in me."
If none of the Lakers' top four guards can play in Game 3, D'Antoni will choose a starting backcourt from the remainders: Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock and Chris Duhon. Morris and Duhon were buried on the end of D'Antoni's bench all season, while Goudelock was busy winning the NBA D-League's MVP award.
Although the Lakers are down to third-string guards, they've still got high-caliber big men in Howard and Pau Gasol. D'Antoni is counting on a big game in the low post from Howard and another do-everything performance by Gasol, who had two triple-doubles in the Lakers' final three games of the regular season.
"Knock on wood that nothing else happens, because it's hard to lose teammates, and teammates that are playing their hearts out," said Gasol, who had a concussion and a serious foot injury earlier this season. "We've fought so hard to be here, and it's hard not to have the players that we can have at this point to have a better chance against a really good San Antonio team."
Howard's foul trouble helped doom the Lakers in Game 2, when Parker took advantage of the shot-blocking center's absence with a series of slashing drives past the Lakers' overmatched guards to the unprotected rim, tipping the game decisively in San Antonio's favor. The veteran, tested Spurs aren't getting excited about two solid wins.
"It's going to change," Tim Duncan said. "The energy is going to be in their building. They're going to continue to attack. They believe they're due a win, they're due more calls, they're due all kinds of different things, and they're going to come out even harder than they played before. We're going to be ready for that, and we've got to start building a personality on the road."
The Lakers fell apart physically while San Antonio steadily kept control of Game 2 - never running away, but never allowing much of a threat from Los Angeles. Nash aggravated his right hamstring in the first half, while Blake needed help to the locker room after getting hurt in the fourth quarter - and Meeks didn't even play.
D'Antoni laughs at many Lakers' fans notion that his shortened rotations late in the season are the reason for their injuries now, including Bryant's torn Achilles tendon at the close of a minutes-heavy season. Los Angeles finished the regular season on a 28-12 surge, rallying from seven games below .500 in late January to the seventh seed in the West.
"We were trying to get in the playoffs, and we went short (because) we had injuries," D'Antoni said. "Some guys had to play heavier minutes than normal. Most of the year, we played 10 guys. I don't know how many guys people want us to play. Matter of fact, when we were (losing), we were playing a lot of guys. We shortened it up to get to the playoffs. Take your pick: We can have everybody rested and be at the beach right now, or we can be in the playoffs."
|Last Updated: 12/22/2014 8:02:30 AM EST|