MANILA, Philippines – A week after getting embarassed on their home floor, the San Antonio Spurs returned the favor as they clobbered the Los Angeles Lakers, 112-91, at the Staples Center.
The Lakers trounced the Spurs, 98-84, in San Antonio last April 11, in a game that saw Andrew Bynum grab a career-high 30 rebounds.
But the Spurs made sure that they would get revenge for that loss. Point guard Tony Parker led the way for San Antonio as he easily ran around the Lakers' defense en route to a 29-point, 13-assist performance.
"It went as well for us as it did for them in the San Antonio, when they destroyed us," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told NBA.com.
With their victory, the Spurs improved their record to 44-16 and now lead the Oklahoma City Thunder by half-a-game for the top spot in the Western Conference.
"After our last meeting, this game had a little more to it. We love our position (in the conference), obviously. We hope to hold on to it. We're facing a tough schedule, but we’re feeling good, and we're staying healthy," Tim Duncan said.
"We had a good night," Popovich said. "We still caught a break: I looked hard, but I didn't see Kobe (Bryant) anywhere. I think that helped us a bit."
Bryant has missed six consecutive games due to a shin injury, and the Lakers have compiled a 4-2 record in his absence.
"We've been playing pretty well with and without him," Lakers forward Pau Gasol said. "We just had a bad stretch at the end of the second quarter, and we paid a huge price."
The Lakers took their last lead of the game in the second period after a Matt Barnes lay-up put them ahead 41-39.
But the Spurs took control from that point on, as they scored 18 straight points while the Lakers committed five turnovers in a span of three minutes.
San Antonio went on to lead by as much as 24 points and finished the game shooting nearly 60% from the field.
"The way they closed that second quarter helped them get the necessary lead to go ahead and put the game away," Lakers coach Mike Brown said.
It was the largest losing margin for Los Angeles this season.
"We weren't happy with our performance last week, and we wanted to get it back from them," Parker said.
Duncan finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Manu Ginobili had 15 points, six rebounds and four assists of the bench.
Bynum had 21 points and seven rebounds in this game, while Gasol added 16 points, seven boards and five assists.
But the Lakers point guards had no answer for Parker and struggled to set up their offense all throughout the game. Ramon Sessions had 10 points, but committed four turnovers, while Steve Blake scored only two points and missed four of his five field goal attempts.
Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies sent the Minnesota Timberwolves to their 11th loss in a row, 91-84.
Rudy Gay had 28 points, while Zach Randolph had 16 points and 11 boards.
The Wolves were without All-Star forward Kevin Love, who missed his fourth straight game due to a concussion.