Lakers throw in the towel as Spurs romp, advance

Posted Sunday, Apr. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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For four straight games, the San Antonio Spurs showed off all the teamwork and tenacity that the Los Angeles Lakers lacked all season long.

And when the Lakers’ tumultuous season finally collapsed Sunday night, the smooth Spurs rolled right past them to the second round.

Tony Parker scored 23 points, and San Antonio completed its first-round sweep of the injury-plagued Lakers with a 103-82 victory in Game 4.

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 staggered through back-to-back blowout losses at home without three regular starters in their first opening-round exit since 2007.

“Obviously, it wasn’t a fair fight,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

San Antonio never trailed in the clincher, leading by 25 points in one more businesslike effort against the seventh-seeded Lakers, who provided their usual drama.

In his final game before unrestricted free agency, Dwight Howard scored seven points before getting ejected early in the third quarter for arguing. Pau Gasol had 16 points for the Lakers, who were swept from the postseason for the second time in three years despite a late courtside appearance by Kobe Bryant on crutches.

Howard said the season was “like a nightmare. It’s like a bad dream, and we just couldn’t wake up from it. That’s what it felt like.”

The Los Angeles Lakers gave away thousands of white towels to their fans Sunday, and they acquired an unfortunate symbolism: In the final game of a season that began with championship aspirations, the Lakers couldn’t keep up without injured starters Bryant, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace. They had just nine available players in uniform for the final minutes.

“I’m proud of them, because they fought,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said.

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Baltimore 4/21 11:05 AM ET
Boston TV: MLB Network, MASN, NESN
Kansas City 4/21 7:05 PM ET
Cleveland TV: FSN-KC, STO
Cincinnati 4/21 7:05 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FSN-OH, ESPN
LA Angels 4/21 7:05 PM ET
Washington TV: FSN-W, MASN
Chicago WSox 4/21 7:08 PM ET
Detroit TV: WCIU, FSN-DET
Miami 4/21 7:10 PM ET
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St. Louis 4/21 7:10 PM ET
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Arizona 4/21 8:05 PM ET
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San Diego 4/21 8:10 PM ET
Milwaukee TV: FSN-SD, FSN-WI
San Francisco 4/21 8:40 PM ET
Colorado TV: CSN-BA, ROOT-RM
Texas 4/21 10:05 PM ET
Oakland TV: FSN-SW, CSN-CA
Philadelphia 4/21 10:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: CSN-PHI, SportsNet LA
Houston 4/21 10:10 PM ET
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