Lakers go down on the road
SAN ANTONIO – Tony Parker scored 24 points and Manu Ginobili had 19 points as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-105 last night at the AT&T Centre.
Ginobili scored a crucial three-pointer with 43 seconds left and pulled down eight rebounds for the Spurs, who bounced back from a loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Monday.
Tiago Splitter finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds for San Antonio, who improved to 15-2 at home this season. Stephen Jackson scored 14 points before leaving the game with 3:32 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Kobe Bryant ended with 27 points for the Lakers, who suffered their fifth consecutive defeat.
Metta World Peace added 23 points, eight rebounds and seven steals, while Earl Clark had 22 points and 13 rebounds.The first-place Spurs improved to 28-10 with the help of their big three Parker, Ginobili and Tim Duncan.
The Lakers played without centre Dwight Howard (right shoulder) as well as forward Pau Gasol (concussion).
Steve Nash finished with 14 points and nine assists.
The Lakers have now lost four in a row versus the Spurs, including an early season 84-82 setback at home on November 13.
Meanwhile at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles Chris Paul orchestrated another Los Angeles Clippers triumph with a season-high 16 assists as he pulled the strings in a 99-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
With the game evenly poised heading into the closing stages, Paul scored or assisted on eight of his team’s 10 field goals in the fourth quarter to lift the Clippers to a franchise-record 13th straight home win.
Los Angeles had trailed 83-82 with nine minutes remaining but an 8-0 run, highlighted by a pair of three-pointers set up by their point guard, gave them the momentum the Clippers needed to pull away for the victory.
Paul and Matt Barnes finished with 19 points, while Blake Griffin added 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Darren Collison, 22 points,† and Dirk Nowitzki, 15, led Dallas.
Other scores last night: 76ers 72, Raptors 90; Jazz 112, Bobcats 102; Hawks 83, Cavaliers 99; Suns 79, Celtics 87; Bucks 104, Bulls 96; Rockets 79, Hornets 88; Timberwolves 84, Thunder 106; Magic 105, Nuggets 108; Grizzlies 94, Warriors 87.††