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Spurs pull away from Lakers in Game 3

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After a dismal performance in Game 2 in Los Angeles, the San Antonio Spurs turn the tables on the Lakers and pull away in the 2nd half for a 19 point victory. The big three in San Antonio all were performing at a top level, scoring 20+ points on better than 50% shooting.

If there was a good thing about the Game 2 blowout by Los Angeles, it was that the starters for San Antonio namely Manu Ginobili received extended rest. It showed in how he attacked the basket coming out in Game 2, and how fresh his shot looked in knocking down 5 of 7 three pointers. Best of all, despite a hobbled ankle, Manu made it to the line 7 times knocking down all 7 shots. One play in particular that comes to mind from Game 3 is when he drove through 4 Laker defenders including 2 at the basket (Kobe being one of them) and still finished.

Meanwhile Kobe Bryant made 0 free throws in 1 attempts, which is not going to get it done for Los Angeles on the road. Sure Kobe scored 30 points on better than 50% shooting plus 4 threes, but he needs to attack the basket more to create more opportunities for the role players in LA as nobody besides Jordan Farmar provided decent help for Bryant in Game 3.

Lamar Odom followed up his brilliant Game 2 will a dismal effort in San Antonio. Odom went 2 / 11 from the field, including 3 / 8 from the free throw line. Gasol shot poorly also at a 7 / 18 clip and still cannot handle Duncan's physicality inside as evidenced by being quadrupled in rebounds by Duncan. Nary a blocked shot for the Lakers on this night after a decent amount in Los Angeles, another sign of the questionable Laker interior defense. Tim Duncan continues to dominate in the middle of this series with a 20-20 game to go along with 5 assists and a solid 6 out of 9 free throws made for the Big Fundamental.

Heading into Game 4 on Tuesday night look for more of the same for the Spurs. While the loss in Game 2 was terrible, Duncan has shown even in LA that the Lakers have no presence in the interior that compares to him. They will continue to ride him and have him create on offense. Most importantly the Spurs are hoping that the Game 3 Manu Ginobili put up will be the norm now that he has had a little bit of rest; but the rest of the series is played every other day so he will need to keep up. The Spurs are so reliant on him to be an efficient scorer and creator on offense because besides Duncan and Parker, the scoring options are limited and inconsistent at best.