San Antonio Spurs Give L.A. Lakers a Late Tip: Poise Works in Late Spring

February 4th, 2011 by Robert Kleeman Leave a reply »
The Lakers will rue a series of botched boxouts.

They should worry more about the uncontested, top-of-the-key trey Manu Ginobili missed with 12 seconds left. He has bagged that look hundreds of times.

They should agonize over the teardrop Tony Parker short-armed and clanged. The Frenchman built a career on that shot.

The two-time defending champions remain the worthy favorites, and a heart-stopping finish underscored how tough it will prove for any opponent to oust them. The Lakers boast size, a bench with capable producers, a defense that can swing from stuck to sturdy and when all else fails, Kobe Bryant.

The Spurs showed Thursday night they have something, too. Antonio McDyess putback a Tim Duncan brick just before the buzzer, and San Antonio escaped Staples Center with an 89-88 victory to push its league-best record to 41-8.

Gregg Popovich's squad owes the one-point difference to its sedulity, not a lucky bounce. Dogmatism wins titles. These Lakers know all about that.

When the Spurs edged the Denver Nuggets 112-111 at the Pepsi Center in December, Popovich had every reason to feel lucky ...

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