Cross-posted at Crossover Chronicles.
With the first seed locked up, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich decided to rest his "big three" of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers took advantage of the Spurs' depleted roster early and went on a 7-0 run. The Spurs tried to fight back with the efforts of George Hill and DeJuan Blair, but it wasn't enough to stop the Lakers, who ended the quarter up by nine, 24-15.
The second quarter, though, would be different. As Lamar Odom said, that's when their overconfidence set it.
The Spurs came out firing to begin the second quarter, making their first 11 points. The Lakers fired back with a run of their own, but the Spurs got everyone involved midway through the second quarter. The Lakers were still ahead with just over a minute remaining, but Tiago Splitter's two free throw shots, a three-pointer by Bonner and a last second foul on Richard Jefferson put him on the line with 0.8 seconds to tie up the game going into the half.
With the Spurs struggling through the third quarter, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol put the Lakers on their backs and outscored the Spurs 25-19 for a six point lead entering the fourth.
The Spurs got everyone involved in the fourth quarter, but they drew iron and went on a cold streak in the last four minutes, while Lamar Odom led the Lakers on a 11-0 run to end the game and snap their five-game skid.
Kobe Bryant led both teams in scoring with 27 points and Gary Neal finished with 16 for the Spurs.
Andrew Bynum will have an MRI done today on his hyperextended right knee.