Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lakers Steal Game 1 From Spurs!

Lakers coach Phil Jackson jokingly quipped during halftime of the game one of the 2008 NBA Western Conference finals tonight at Staples Center that Kobe Bryant was running the "Bermuda Triangle offense," rather the Triangle Offense that the coach is perhaps known best for. Kobe indeed was in the Bermuda Triangle in the first half as he only tallied two points. Derek Fisher didn't score at all, and not surprisingly, the visiting San Antonio Spurs took a 51-43 halftime lead.

Early in the third quarter, things went from bad to worse for the Lakers. A 14-2 Spurs run over the first 6:06 of the third quarter gave San Antonio a commanding 65-45 lead. Even last year, prior to the Pau Gasol trade, this Lakers team probably would have wilted and closed tent under the pressure. But these new Lakers do have a healthy Gasol... and Kobe decided about this time to come back from Bermuda. The Lakers Went on a 14-0 run over the next 3:38 as Kobe scored seven points, Gasol added four, and "the machine," Sasha Vujacic hit on a three-pointer. The sleeping crowd at Staples Center was suddenly wide awake and into the game again!

The Spurs took a tenuous 72-65 lead into the fourth quarter. And as you Lakers fans know, the fourth quarter is also known in these parts as "Kobe time!" The league MVP, along with his wingmen Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom, slowly pecked away at the Spurs lead. With 3:18 to play, Odom's fingerroll tied the the game at 81. Two Kobe free throws and a jumper on the next possession gave the Lakers an 85-81 lead with 2:17 to go. The Spurs (aided by some very poor officiating) managed to tie things back up at 85 on a Tim Duncan layup with 41 seconds to play. Kobe calmly took his time with the Lakers ensuing possession, passing to Vujacic and then driving into the lane for a relatively easy 12-foot jumper with 23.9 seconds to play. Manu Ginobili's 3-point attempt with eight seconds to play was well off the mark. Vujacic was fouled with 7.3 seconds to play and sank both free throws to seal the Lakers amazing come-from-behind 89-85 win!

Kobe scored 25 of his 27 points in the second half. He also dished out nine assists and grabbed six boards. Gasol was his steady self with 19 points and seven boards to with two more blocks. Odom only had eight points and eight rebounds, but made some some VERY plays on both offense and defense down the stretch. What a game! GO LAKERS!

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1 comment:

Amy Durfy said...

Kobe and Gasol are definitely the dynamic duo, with Kobe knowing just when to pass the ball to Gasol to dunk in!

Thank you for the play by play at the end of your blog. I watched the last few seconds half looking at the TV afraid San Antonio would try to tie it up again!

The Lakers proved they are true champions. It's easy to win when you are winning but harder to try and get back to winning when you are losing 20 points down. What an inspiring comeback!
-AD