The Lakers started strong, building a 21-13 lead over the first nine minutes of Sunday's game with San Antonio at Staples. Unfortunately, league rules mandate another 39 minutes of play before a game can be declared finished. Those were the ones hurting the home team in what became a 100-81 loss.
We ran the gamut in yesterday's wrap, from the horrible destruction laid on L.A. by Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan down the stretch to Phil Jackson's issues with officiating and some ugly numbers produced by the offense. Kevin Arnovitz broke down in moving pictures the fourth quarter meltdown.
Click below for everything else the media had to say...
NEWS AND NOTEBOOKS
Jerry Buss elected to Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, ESPNLosAngeles.com
Phil Jackson: Referees turned against us, ESPNLosAngeles.com
Shannon Brown still struggling with thumb, Los Angeles Times
Luke Walton relatively quiet in return, Los Angeles Daily News
Duncan much better this time around, Riverside Press-Enterprise
Even with the win, the Spurs would just as soon avoid LA in first round, San Antonio Express-News
AROUND THE BLOGS
Silver Screen and Roll- Lakers return to dead on Easter Sunday: "...The Lakers have injuries, they don't execute their offensive or defensive systems as reliably as a championship team should, they're bad outside shooters, and they have a terrible bench. These problems will not be solved by the time the playoffs start. Maybe Andrew Bynum will come back, maybe he won't. If he does, that's a significant help. But the fundamental weaknesses that afflict the Lakers will plague them throughout the postseason..."
Forum Blue and Gold- Ginobili ruined Easter: "...In their previous meeting, Kobe was 11 for 16 with 24 points and six assists. Today, he shot an abysmal eight for 24, scoring 22 points with eight rebounds and six assists. Even with Gasol playing as well as he was, Kobe forced a lot of shots and was never able to get into rhythm. In the first quarter, he seemed like he was trying hard to get his jumper to fall, missing from 22, 7, 21 and 17 feet. As soon as he entered the game for Shannon Brown in the second quarter, he was called for an offensive foul, then turned the ball over on their next possession. He missed two free throws, was called for a technical foul and turned the ball over one more time right before the end of the half that led to a Ginobili dunk..."
LA Times Lakers Blog- Loss latest example of team's up-and-down play: "...Aside from the Lakers losing three out of their past four games, they have continued a season-long trend in failing to capitalize after big wins. Case in point, the Lakers' followed their impressive win Friday against Utah with a clunker Sunday against the Spurs. Just last week, the Lakers won at San Antonio and responded with a 1-3 mark on the rest of their five-game trip. Meanwhile, the Spurs (47-29) answered their previous loss to the Lakers with four victories in the last five games, including marquee wins against Cleveland, Boston and Orlando, an effort good enough to secure a 13th consecutive postseason berth. And to think, it was San Antonio who wanted to avoid the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs..."
48 Minutes of Hell- Gregg Popovich and the silent Spurs ascent: "...Gregg Popovich threw a curve ball at the Lakers by playing Matt Bonner and Antonio McDyess on Ron Artest. By utilizing bigs on Artest, Popovich was able to reduce the damage Lamar Odom usually inflicts on the Spurs–Odom was primarily guarded by wings, not bigs, even though Phil Jackson likes to play small with Odom at power forward. Richard Jefferson, to his credit, played noteworthy defense against Odom, and Popovich may have found a solution for a pestering problem... Yesterday’s win over the Lakers was confirmation of San Antonio’s newfound take-us-seriously trajectory. It’s not just one game. It’s one game at the end of an impressive series of games. I woke up this morning with a strange confidence: the Spurs are title contenders. Yes, these Spurs. I haven’t been able to write that since October..."
Dave McMenamin, ESPNLosAngeles.com: Lakers struggling to find offensive flow in the triangle
Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times: Lakers find another way to make fans anxious
Jeff Miller, OC Register: Lakers aren't good enough... for now