Lakers vs San Antonio: Lakers get run over again, this time by Spurs
Spurs 97, Lakers 82 (final)
The Lakers were blown out for the third consecutive game, this time watching the San Antonio Spurs beat them by double digits.
L.A. trailed by as many as 19 points before losing by 15 -- a one-sided defeat that followed a 19-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks last week and a 16-point drubbing by the Miami Heat on Christmas Day.
Kobe Bryant was angry at his teammates after the loss to the Heat. It'll be interesting to see where he directs his anger this time.
Maybe he'll point the finger at himself. Bryant scored 21 points, but was just eight for 27 from the field. He also had five turnovers and was given a technical foul.
At one point, Bryant missed 13 consecutive shots from early in the first quarter to the third quarter. He made two in a row in the fourth, but then missed his last four before taking a seat on the bench with just over two minutes left.
Tony Parker scored 23 points for the Spurs and DeJuan Blair had a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
The Lakers play at New Orleans on Wednesday night,
Spurs 71, Lakers 62 (end of third quarter)
This time, it was Derek Fisher who lost his composure and was hit with a technical foul late in the third quarter.
Fisher was upset after Richard Jefferson scored on a put-back over his back. Fisher grabbed the basketball and ran all the way up to midcourt to confront Jefferson, who now had his back turned to the play.
Kobe Bryant had already gotten a technical foul in the second quarter.
Bryant was having a horrible game. He missed his first four shots in the third, giving him a string of 13 straight misses dating back to the first quarter.
Bryant didn't make a shot in the third until hitting a three-pointer with 3:45 left.
The Lakers were a team in disarray, a team looking uncertain of what to do and who to turn to.
Andrew Bynum gave the Lakers a small lift, scoring twice in the third, and had 10 points on four-for-four shooting after three quarters.
Lakers 44, Spurs 42 (end of first half)
Kobe Bryant got into an exchange with San Antonio's George Hill with 4:49 left in the second quarter. Both players were given technical fouls.
It meant that Bryant has gotten at least one technical in each of the last three games.
Bryant was ejected from the Dec. 21 game against Milwaukee Bucks after getting two technical fouls, and he got another technical against the Miami Heat on Christmas Day.
Bryant had eight points in the first half, but all of them came in the game's opening three minutes. He missed 10 of his 14 shots and had four turnovers in the half.
The Lakers, down by nine points to start the second quarter, closed the gap primarily because of the play of their reserves Andrew Bynum, Steve Blake, Shannon Brown and Matt Barnes.
Bynum had four points and three rebounds in the first half.
Spurs 27, Lakers 18 (end of first quarter)
It was clear from the start that Kobe Bryant was going to be aggressive, that he was going to be on the attack.
Bryant took the Lakers' first four shots, and six of their first seven.
Bryant had been angry about his team's play ever since the loss on Christmas Day to the Miami Heat at Staples Center.
Still, Bryant was unable to carry the Lakers in the first quarter.
He was four for 10 from the field in the first, scoring eight points. He had three turnovers and he was called for an offensive foul.
The Lakers couldn't stop Tony Parker, who had 10 points.
Making matters worse for the Lakers was that Matt Bonner made a three-pointer just before the first-quarter buzzer sounded, giving the Spurs a nine-point lead entering the second quarter.
Pregame: Lakers aren't panicking
The city of Los Angeles is in a state of panic over the play of the Lakers, Coach Phil Jackson was told Tuesday night.
Jackson smiled, and replied: "That was on the radio? You got that?"
Jackson just nodded and said, "OK."
His team has lost consecutive games in embarrassing fashion and now has to take on the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center.
The Spurs have the best record in the NBA at 26-4.
"Well, we'll see how we do tonight," Jackson said. "It's one game at a time."
Jackson said the Spurs are playing a fast-paced tempo, which is different from past years when they pounded the ball down low to Tim Duncan.
"This is a game we're prepared for," Jackson said. "We're ready to play this game. We're healthy and coming along."
-- Broderick Turner, reporting from San Antonio