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2008 NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals, Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs, Game 1

Information about game 1 of the L.A. Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs series in the 2008 NBA Playoffs, with score, recap, pictures, stats, highlights, quotes and Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol performance.

2008 NBA Playoffs Conference Finals
Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Series Index:

Game 1: Lakers 89, Spurs 85 at Los Angeles Game recap & pictures
Game 2: Lakers 101, Spurs 71 at Los Angeles   Game recap & pictures
Game 3: Spurs103, Lakers 84 at San Antonio   Game recap & pictures
Game 4: Lakers 93, Spurs 91 at San Antonio   Game recap & pictures
Game 5: Lakers 100, Spurs 92 at Los Angeles   Game recap & pictures

Back to Playoffs 2008

GAME 1: L.A. Lakers 89 - San Antonio Spurs 85

A great comeback from a 20-point nightmare.

Leaders Points Rebounds Assists
Lakers 27: Bryant 8: Odom 9: Bryant
Spurs 30: Duncan 18: Duncan 6: Parker
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAL 24 19 22 24 89
SAS 27 24 21 13 85
click for Lakers 2008 Playoff pictures (LA Daily News), Conference Finals Game 1
Picture Gallery (LADN)

May 21, 2008 - STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. With 5:54 left in the third quarter the defending champions had a 20-point lead and were well in their way to a shocking win. But Kobe Bryant started to shot, his teammates started to play suffocating defense and the Lakers made a fantastic comeback to defeat the Spurs 89-85 in the first game of the Western Finals.

Kobe led L.A. with 27 point, 25 of them in the second half and 9 assists. Gasol added 19 points and 7 rebounds.

As expected, the game started with Bruce Bowen aggressively chasing Kobe all over the court, but instead of forcing his shots the MVP spent his time just finding his teammates. In the first quarter he got 4 assist and no points, but Radmanovic had all his 10 points.The Lakers lost the period 27-24.

Three and half minutes into the second, L.A. reserves got to tie it at 33 but then was when the debacle started. Tim Duncan was completely unstoppable, being a nightmare for Gasol at both ends of the floor. When with 1:29 left in the first half Kobe Bryant made his first field goal, the only one in 3 attempts in the half, the Spurs had already scored 49 points (49-41). It was 51-43 by halftime and things kept going downhill with the Lakers only scoring 2 points in the first 6 minutes of the third until a hook shot by Duncan made it 65-45 with 5:54 left.

Then suddenly Kobe decided it was his time to contribute with points, everybody played very strong defense and the Lakers closed the quarter with a 20-7 run that included 9 points from Kobe and 8 from Gasol to close the gap to 72-65 by the end of the period.

Kobe kept shooting in the fourth and based on his 14 points, the Lakers made the Spurs, an experienced team that knows how to close a game, look like rookies. San Antonio shot 3-for-21, including 1-for-9 from 3-point range in a quarter where the Lakers outscored them 24-13. Odom tied the game at 81 with 3:17 left and a free throw by Kobe 35 seconds later gave the Lakers their first lead of the game. A layup by Duncan tied it again at 85 with 41 seconds left but Kobe restored L.A.'s lead for good with 23 seconds to go with a 9-foot jump shot. Then Ginobili missed a 3-pointer and Sasha Vujacic sealed the scored with 2 free throws.

It was a difficult night for Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher, who combined for 12 points on 4-for-21 shooting, but both made key plays in the final period where they scored 4 points each.

Despite not shooting particularly well, Vujacic played a career playoff-high 31 1/2 minutes, but he earned his time with a good defense on Manu Ginobili, who looked affected by the accumulation of playing time and lacked his usual explosiveness.

Duncan led the Spurs with 30 points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots. Tony Parker had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists; Bowen added 12 points, and Ginobili 10.

The Quotes

Phil Jackson (LAL Coach): "We were deep in the hole, no doubt about it... They (the Laker players) were fortunate to get a win."

Kobe Bryant (Lakers): "Western Conference finals, a lot of us haven't been here before. It is big for a young team to come back from 20 against the defending champs."

Robert Horry (Spurs): "We're supposed to be smarter than this."

Gregg Popovich (Spurs coach): “It hurts like hell"... "It has nothing to do with the fatigue of the last two days".... "Kobe, he was doing a trust-his-teammates thing in the first half, that’s why he had five assists, and he was checking it all out and see where his territory was going to be. In the second half, he went to work."

Highlights

Los Angeles Lakers San Antonio Spurs
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl
Kobe Bryant 27 5 9 1 -
Pau Gasol 19 7 3 2 2
Sasha Vujacic 10 5 2 1 1
Vlade Radmanovic 10 5 - 1 -
Lamar Odom 8 8 2 - 2
Leaders: Pts Reb Ast St Bl
Tim Duncan 30 18 2 2 4
Tony Parker 18 10 6 1 -
Bruce Bowen 12 2 1 - -
Manu Ginobili 10 4 3 1 -
Ime Udoka 7 1 1 - -

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