LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert, BOX SCORE) — San Antonio Spurs punished an injured hit Los Angeles Lakers on their way to taking a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference first round playoff series with a 120-89 victory at STAPLES Center on Friday night.
The defeat margin was Lakers’ worst ever home defeat.
“I think we’re playing fairly well,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
“Whether the team you’re playing is whole or banged-up like the Lakers are … we have to bring the energy and the professionalism to play.”
Star forward Tim Duncan scored 26 points and nine rebounds and All-Star point guard Tony Parker added 20 points and seven assists in the win for San Antonio, which had starting center Tiago Splitter injured.
The Spurs shot 61-percent on 52-for-85 shooting from the floor and were very aggressive on the night to secure the win.
“We respect these guys, and we’re not trying to give them any momentum whatsoever,” Duncan told reporters after the game.
The Lakers, which were without Steve Nash and Steve Blake, who were both suffering from hamstring injury, were led by Dwight Howard, who collected a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds.
Darius Morris scored 24 points and six assists, while Andrew Goudelock recorded a career-high 20 points in starting roles for the Lakers in the Game 3 defeat.
Pau Gasol added triple-double of 13 rebounds, 11 points and 10 assists for the Lakers who are now one defeat away from being eliminated from the playoffs. Gasol, who admitted “We’ve been murdered by injuries,” became the seventh player to collect a playoff triple-double in LA Lakers history.