Lakers finally finished after Spurs' 4-game sweep

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 28, 2013 at 10:46 pm •  Published: April 28, 2013
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"It's been a very challenging season, but we've done our best," said Gasol, who got a late standing ovation from fans who realize he also might be gone in the fall. "We've done our best and fought our way through it. ... We pretty much didn't have a chance against the Spurs, but we still fought. We stayed together, and that's the thought I will keep for the future."

Tim Duncan had 11 points and six rebounds for the second-seeded Spurs, who will face the winner of Denver's series with Golden State in the second round. They'll get plenty of rest after flattening the Lakers, who took back-to-back home defeats without three regular starters in their first opening-round exit since 2007.

"Obviously, it wasn't a fair fight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "When you're a competitor, you want to compete on an even basis, and the Lakers weren't able to do that. ... Even though it wasn't a fair fight, we still want to win the series, and I'm glad we did. Our focus was great."

After Duncan led the Spurs' blowout in Game 3, Parker took the lead in the clincher, scoring 15 points in the first half while exploiting the Lakers' hastily assembled lineup. Los Angeles' top four guards are out with injuries, including backups Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks, and Parker was merciless against third-stringers.

"It was just a weird feeling," Parker said. "Obviously, I am happy we won, but it was just weird. They were missing a lot of guys, so we're just happy to go to the next round."

San Antonio trailed for fewer than five combined minutes in the four-game series, grinding out points and defensive stops with the steady professionalism of Popovich's best teams.

The Spurs seamlessly replaced injured starting center Tiago Splitter in Game 4 with Australian rookie Aron Baynes, who had six points and played decent defense in his first NBA start.

The Spurs had control of this series from the start: They posted two methodical victories at home before sending the Lakers to their biggest home playoff defeat in their long franchise history in Game 3, 120-89. The clincher was more of the same, with the Lakers unable to mount enough teamwork to challenge the smooth Spurs.

"You can't expect to come in and have instant success against a team like that, especially since we haven't even been playing," said Goudelock, who scored 14 points. "We basically threw a team together, threw us out there, and, 'Go play.' So, tough circumstances, but I think we all learned a lot from it. I think we'll all be better from it."

NOTES: Splitter has a sprained ankle and is out indefinitely, although his teammates think he can return during the second round. F Boris Diaw practiced with contact this weekend in his comeback from a back injury. ... The Lakers faced an 0-3 series deficit for the eighth time in franchise history — and for the eighth time, they were swept. ... Jack Nicholson and Lil Wayne watched at courtside, but both left early in the fourth quarter.