While Kobe was in France, his team played the Spurs on the last game of the season. Perhaps because Popovich rested Tim Duncan the Lakers looked interested and enthused. Still the Lakers had to deal with Tony Parker. A three point lead could have been five but Wes Johnson missed a slam dunk. Kendall Marshall followed it with a three, his second in the first three minutes. At the eight minute mark the Lakers had a 6 point lead, 12-6. In contrast to a Mike D’antoni offense they fed Jordan Hill repeatedly on the inside. Hmmm. Is Mike trying to keep his job? In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Lakers trainer Gary Vitti admitted a slower pace reduces injuries. The blame D’antoni chorus is coming from everywhere these days. But back to the game. The Lakers had a ten point lead at the four minute mark. I was reminded of that selfie the Lakers took on the team plane going to San Antonio. This game is the last for this team as a whole. Some will be here, some will be gone. Nick Young had a Nick Young pump fake Swaggy P got you in the air three point play. The Lakers led by thirteen. Just for fun lets count Wes Johnson’s six missed shots: a missed dunk, a missed bank shot, an airball three, a missed three, three missed mid ranges. Wasn’t this year supposed to be his breakout, I am a lottery pick year? Not! At the end of the first quarter the Lakers led by ten, 33-23.
The second quarter same old story. The Lakers stopped making shots- they only had 18 points in the quarter- and the Spurs began playing a more interested game. The Spurs took a two point lead with a minute left in the quarter until Nick Young hit a three. The Spurs went down low and Splitter had a put back against Jordan Hill to retake the lead 51-50. Jordan Hill was fouled with 33 seconds left in the quarter. Already he had 10 rebounds. But he made only one of two free throws to tie the game at 51 all. A Kendall Marshall turnover and a Spurs fast break to end the half but Danny Green missed a three. The score remained tied, 51-51.
The D’antoni offense took center stage in the third quarter. Three pointers by Marshall and Young. Good ball movement and crisp passing. Jordan Hill was posting up and generally humiliating Tiago Splitter. D’antoni must not have been pleased by that- the posting up part. The Lakers had a nine point lead with two minutes left in the quarter. Then a seven point lead. Then ten off of a Jordan Farmar three. Then twelve off a Spurs goal tending on Jodie Meeks. This was one of the few times the Lakers outscored their opponent in the third quarter. And it was against the Spurs- minus Tim Duncan. The Lakers scored 35 points in the quarter. The Spurs scored 24.
At the eight minute mark the Spurs actually became concerned they may lose this game. Not enough to put their big guns back in but the role guys began playing a lot harder. Of course Popovich probably wanted to lose the game so he could yell at his players the next time they practice. MarShon Brooks entered the game, his last as a Laker if Mike D’antoni has anything to say about it. At the seven minute mark the lead was 14 after a Robert Sacre jump hook. At the five minute mark it was a nine point lead. The Spurs were coming. With no Jordan Hill coming back in the Lakers began waving the white flag. Or D’antoni did. Perhaps on word from Mitch Kupchak? Tank the last five minutes, okay? Why else would Jodie Meeks be out the game and MarShon Brooks in? But the Lakers had a couple of nice defensive stands with Sacre in the middle. He even faked Aron Baynes into a foul. The lead was back to 13 with three minutes left. One of the things Mitch has to address is that no one on this Lakers team has quick hands. There were a lot of loose balls in the paint but the Lakers don’t have the quickness to retrieve any of them. But they had 8 players in double figures. They played hard all night long. It proved that the Spurs B team is not better than the Lakers one year contract team. At least that’s something. A Kendall Marshall three sealed the deal. Lakers win. This dreadful season is over.
Tags: Los Angeles Lakers