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Parker scores 24 as Spurs beat slumping Lakers

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm •  Published: January 9, 2013
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Even with Lakers big men Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill out with injuries, the Spurs managed only a 48-40 rebounding advantage. Los Angeles forced 19 turnovers to keep the game close throughout.

Parker's 17-foot jumper gave the Spurs their largest lead at 83-66, but the Lakers quickly pared the 17-point deficit. Artest hit a 3, Bryant made a pair of jumpers and Clark had a 21-foot jumper to pull the Lakers to 83-75 with 49.3 seconds left in the third.

"The closer it gets, the easier it is to focus and be ready," Ginobili said. "Of course, you worry because we were up by 16 and we just messed up the whole game. Like I said before, it was disappointing to see the team play like that, but at least we got the win."

Bryant had a sluggish start offensively and the Lakers fell behind 54-45 at the half.

His first basket came with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter and he closed the half 2 for 6 from the field. Bryant credited his poor shooting to Spurs second-year player Kawhi Leonard.

"It was Kawhi's defense," Bryant said. "He did a good job."

Leonard finished with 11 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one blocked shot in 33 minutes while primarily guarding Bryant and World Peace.

"Kawhi Leonard was the start of the show as far as I'm concerned," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He had a great night and is getting better and better defensively and starting to find his way offensively. I thought that was great."

NOTES: Lakers G Steve Blake (abdominal surgery) missed his 28th game of the season. Howard (shoulder), Gasol (concussion) and Hill (hip) also sat out the game. The Spurs had every player on their current roster active. ... The Lakers haven't lost five in a row since April 3-10, 2011. ... The Lakers are 1-12 when trailing after the first quarter this season. ... The Spurs evened their overall record against the Lakers at 74-all. San Antonio has a 46-29 advantage at home. ... Bryant holds the Spurs opponent record for most field goal attempts — 41 on Feb. 14, 2004.