The San Antonio Spurs supposed to be well rested, and a team that should dominate an opponent missing their biggest star, instead the Los Angeles Lakers showed the Spurs that they are a force to be reckoned with even without Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers went to work early, controlled the rebounds and imposed their will against the Spurs. However, despite being manhandled on the boards; San Antonio somehow, managed to hang on and trail by just five points, 43-48 entering the third quarter.
With the way the Spurs have played lately, and homecourt advantage on their side, one would think they would bring it on in the second half to try to salvage the win but they did not.
Los Angeles outscored San Antonio 27-16 in the third period to build a 75-59 lead heading into the fourth quarter and never looked back.
Andrew Bynum had 16 points and a career-high 30 rebounds, Metta World Peace finished with a game-high 26 points while shooting 10-of-15 from the field, including 5-of-8 from behind the arc, and the Lakers beat the Spurs 98-84 on Wednesday night.
Bynum's dominating night surpassed the previous NBA season-high of 25 rebounds, set twice by Orlando's Dwight Howard and Milwaukee's Ersan Ilyasova.
Pau Gasol added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who are now 2-1 without Bryant.
Danny Green led the Spurs with 22 points, while Tim Duncan added 14 points but only had two rebounds.
Tony Parker scored just four points on 2-of-12 shooting and Manu Ginobili scored nine.
The Lakers outrebounded the Spurs 60-33. Gary Neal (gastroenteritis) did not play for the Spurs.
Los Angeles has seven games left and are in third place in the West, 4 1/2 games behind San Antonio for second place.
After winning 11 games in a row, the Spurs have now lost consecutive games for the first time since January.
Ginobili surpassed 10,000 career points, joining Duncan, Parker, David Robinson and George Gervin as the only other players in Spurs history to reach the milestone.
(Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)