Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

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Best Game 1 Ever??

May 22, 2008


Well that may be a little too soon and a little over the top, but I have not witnessed a game that ripped my soul out in the beginning of the third quarter to hand it back gently to me in just minutes. With 5:55 left in the third quarter the Lakers were down 65-45, due to Tim Duncan being Tim Duncan(30 points, 18 rebounds, 4 blocked shots) and the Lakers getting lulled to sleep by the Spurs offense. At the 5:55 mark, Kobe who at this point was 1-3 with 2 points decided it was time to let loose the Mamba. Kobe the league MVP exploded for 25 points on 10-for-18 shooting in the second half, disregarding and making a mockery of Bruce Bowen's attempts to guard him. Apparently ripping the hearts out of Spurs fans was his plan all along,
said Bryant:
"I know I can make that push and I knew once I did, I could get the game back
under control, get it under 10 where we knew we could be in striking distance.
In the first half, we were a little rusty, a little sluggish and a little
tentative. Second half, it wasn't there."

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich added:
"Kobe, he was doing a trust-his-teammates thing in the first half. That's why he
had 5 assists, and he was checking it all out to see where his territory was
going to be. In the second half, he went to work."

The Spurs looked more like a lottery team in the fourth quarter, during which they shot 3-for-21 from the field (including 1-for-9 from distance) and got outscored 24-13. Parker played well enough (18 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists), but he couldn't have penetrated the mysteries of the paint with a dozen Indiana Joneses on his side. And as for Ginobili, he was horrendous shooting 3-for-13 and committing several game changing fourth-quarter turnovers.
But the credit goes to the Lakers, who behind Kobe, Gasol (19 points, 7 rebounds), Vladimir Radmanovic (10 points, 5-for-5) and Sasha "the Machine" Vujacic (10 points, 2-for-5 from downtown, spectacular defense on Ginobili) managed to shut down the defending champs after it looked like they were going to lose by 30. This is by far the most satisfying game I have watched of the Lakers since Bynums injury. If the rest of the series is as exciting as this, it will be one of the most memorable series in recent history.

Here are the Laker highlights:





Game 2 is Friday night, coverage starting at 9pm on TNT and radio coverage starts at 8:30 on ESPN radio.

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