Kobe, Lakers Beat Short-Handed Spurs
SA keeps it close, despite lack of stars
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2007 1:23 AM CST
San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker, right, jokes with assistant coach Don Newman before the start of the Los Angeles Lakers' basketball game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Missing both Tim Duncan and Tony Parker due to ankle injuries, the Spurs still managed to put up a fight against the Lakers, before succumbing, 102-97. Kobe led Los Angeles with 30 points, saving the Lakers from a sluggish start against the Spurs' balanced attack, led by Bruce Bowen's 22 points, just two shy of his career best.

The game was tied at 81 early in the fourth quarter, but turned quickly as LA put together a 18-5 run that all but closed the door. Brent Barry Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto also had strong games for San Antonio, posting 17, 14 and nine points, respectively. Lamar Odem had 15 points for Los Angeles.