Spurs roll past ailing Lakers
SAN ANTONIO — Kobe Bryant didn't play the fourth quarter because of back spasms, and Pau Gasol missed his fifth game because of a strained hamstring.
But for the San Antonio Spurs, it's still a win over the Lakers.
Tim Duncan had 25 points and 13 rebounds, and the Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 105-85, last night. But the Spurs were well aware these weren't the same defending NBA champions they spent the offseason trying to keep up with.
"We needed this one," Duncan said. "Obviously they're dealing with some injuries, and Kobe doesn't play in the fourth quarter or whatever it may be, but it's a great win for us. We'll take it where we can get it."
Bryant had 16 points and attempted a season-low 10 field goals before leaving in the third quarter after injuring his back in the first half. He said he's "pretty sure" he will play tonight at Dallas.
"I could barely move," Bryant said. "I tried to orchestrate some things for my team, couldn't walk. I literally couldn't walk. It's the only way I don't play."
Bryant is already trying to overcome a broken right index finger that has hampered his shooting of late. He continued wearing a splint over the finger last night.
Andrew Bynum scored 23 points, and Ron Artest had 13 but sprained his right index finger during the game. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Artest is day-to-day, and said Gasol has set his sights on returning Friday against the Clippers.
With the loss, the Lakers were denied their first shot at becoming the only NBA franchise with 3,000 victories.
GRIZZLIES 104, CLIPPERS 102
Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol each scored 24 points and host Memphis overcame Baron Davis' triple-double, an 18-point deficit and a 36-minute delay caused by a water line break at FedExForum to beat Los Angeles. Davis had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.
PISTONS 99, WIZARDS 90
Charlie Villanueva had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey each scored 19 as visiting Detroit held off Washington to end a 13-game losing streak.
BOBCATS 102, ROCKETS 94
Stephen Jackson scored 16 of his career-high 43 points in the fourth quarter, including two free throws for an 83-81 lead with 7:31 left and host Charlotte never trailed Houston thereafter.
MAGIC 109, KINGS 88
Dwight Howard had 30 points and 16 rebounds, and visiting Orlando opened the fourth quarter with an 18-4 run for a 94-72 lead and never looked back in beating Sacramento.
OVER AND BACK
Kings: Sacramento's Kevin Martin is ready to return to practice after recovering from surgery on his left wrist. Martin averaged 30.6 points through the first five games before injuring the wrist. He underwent surgery for a hairline fracture on Nov. 9 and has not played since.
Fines: The NBA has fined two teams $10,000 apiece for violating the rule preventing players from standing for long periods of time in front of their bench. League spokesman Tim Frank confirmed a memo was sent to all teams yesterday informing them of the fines. The teams were not identified in the memo.