The shorthanded Lakers showed they are still a force to be reckoned with, but fell short to the Spurs 108-105. Once again the Lakers failed to show up for all 48 minutes, and the Spurs made them pay. The Lakers had by their standard a solid defensive night holding their opponent to 108 (who are we kidding?), but had given up 100 points with 7 minutes to play. The Lakers went on a mini spurt to end the game, but as we have seen frequently this season came up just short.
There were definitely some positives to take away from this game. One of them is named Earl Clark. That man showed tonight that he has the potential to ball, and he may just have to play the role of Clark Kent this season, at least over the next few games as the Lakers remain shorthanded. Earl finished with 22 points and 13 boards. Metta World Peace also continues to show signs of great play combined with highly questionable decision making (What was he thinking on that two on one break he was running with Kobe?). He finished with 23 points, 8 rebounds, and a whopping 7 steals.
The Lakers seemed to play well offensively, and most of their struggles came on the defensive end. Stephen Jackson played the role of Carlos Delfino tonight, hitting on 4-6 from three point range. While Tim Duncan had an off night, the Lakers allowed Tony Parker to put up 24 on 10-16 shooting. The Lakers cut the lead from 17 points down to 3, but that was as close as it would get. The Lakers have lost five straight, and things don’t get any easier with the Oklahoma City Thunder coming to town on Friday.
Game Notes: Devin Ebanks remained the solo Laker to not get any playing time. Stephen Jackson was ejected after receiving two technicals, while Bryant, Duhon, and Morris racked up one each for the Lakers. The Spurs shot 48% from behind the arc, and the Lakers only hit on 60% of their free throws.