In a very physical contest, the San Antonio Spurs took control of the series, by beating the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday evening by a score of 91-79 of Game 1. Leading the way for the Spurs were Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, each with 18 points, Tim Duncan added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and coming off the bench, Matt Bonner added 10 points.
Despite double doubles from the Lakers post players Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, plus Steve Nash’s 16 points, LA could not steal Game 1 from the Spurs.
The first half of the game was dominated by San Antonio, where Tim Duncan had 13 points and the team took an eight point lead going into the half.
The Lakers cut the deficit to four with an 11-4 run midway through the 3rd quarter, but after that, Manu Ginobili hit a pair of timely 3s to extend the lead to 70-57 after three quarters.
The Lakers then cut the lead to nine with 10 minutes to go, after a Pau Gasol jumper, but that was the closest they got in last quarter, as the Spurs defense, who forced 18 turnovers in the game, took over.
Jodie Meeks who was 1-4 shooting in 20 minutes also suffered a mild sprain on his left ankle. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti re-taped Meeks and he was able to come back into the game but never looked comfortable. The training staff will monitor Meeks’ swelling heading into Game 2.
The Lakers (41.1%) had a better field goal percentage than the Spurs (37.6%), but also had 18 turnovers compared to the Spurs 9. The Spurs gained a big advantage on fast break points (17-2) and in bench points (40-10) as was expected.
Game 2 is not untill Wednesday night in San Antonio, a very valuable period of time for the Lakers to regroup and to give Steve Nash and Jodie Meeks an extra day to recover. They are going to need to make some adjustments on offense if they plan togo to Los Angeles with the series even at one game.