This was a tough one.
Not for the
The Lakers and San Antonio appeared to be throwing boulders at the baskets. A run in this game meant two consecutive baskets.
Mercifully it ended, San Antonio outlasting the Lakers, 91-85, as both teams played without their injured franchise player Friday at Staples Center.
They hadn't met without
The Lakers shot 37%, the
Where to begin?
Probably with the Lakers' troubles down low beyond
Starting power forward
And really, the Lakers' starting backcourt was also bailing water.
Steve Blake made two of 12 shots and
The Lakers (1-2) had a 33-18 lead, but that didn't last long.
Tony Parker's jumper broke an 80-80 tie and
"It was a frustrating night," said Nash, benched in the fourth quarter because of ineffectiveness, not injury. "We didn't make shots. Such a winnable game."
The Spurs were the ones who put an end to the
Neither team looked like a playoff contender Friday, though the Spurs eventually will get there.
The pregame chatter was more about the injured Duncan (bruised chest) and Bryant (Achilles' tendon).
"Their competitiveness, their mental toughness, their willingness to be consistent leaders and competitors night after night," he said. "And that's what the great players do. They do it night after night after night. There's a lot of people that have good nights. But people like those two guys understand it's their responsibility to do it night after night."
Nobody will remember Friday night's mess.
Par for the game: The Spurs'
At least Henry had an excuse. The game was stopped for several minutes in the second quarter when he was fouled on a drive and sustained a cut on his forehead.
He stayed in the game after a timeout, made two free throws, and jogged back to the locker room, where he needed nine stitches. He returned and finished with three points, missing all six of his shots.
That kind of a night for the Lakers. They hope it doesn't turn into that kind of a season.