NBA: Spurs sweep Lakers, Howard ejected in the third quarter
The Los Angeles Lakers' tumultuous 2012-13 season is finally over.
The San Antonio Spurs broke out the brooms to sweep their foes, after a 103-82 triumph that included the ejection of Lakers center Dwight Howard in the third quarter, Sunday (Monday, PHL time) at the Staples Center in LA.
The Western Conference second-seeds Spurs won both games in San Antonio, by scores of 91-79 and 102-91. They then came to LA and inflicted a 120-89 beating on their injury-ravaged foes, making the fourth game nearly a mere formality.
Lakers are swept in an opening-round series for the 2nd time, the 1st time since 1967.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 29, 2013
It was the first time for the Lakers to get swept in the first round since 1967.
LA trailed by six, 26-20 after the first period, but the Spurs dropped the hammer on them in the second, with a 26-14 output that made it an 18-point affair at the break, 52-34, behind a combined 15 markers from Tony Parker and Gary Neal.
The Spurs defense also held the Lakers to just 33.3 percent shooting, including a 1-of-7 mark from downtown.
A wide-open Kawhi Leonard triple at the start of the second half added to the home team's deficit, 55-34, but the game turned on its head when on the next possession, Dwight Howard was slapped with his second technical foul of the game for arguing a non-call on Spurs center Aron Bynes, 9:51 left in the period.
The ejected Howard was forced into the locker room to finish the game from there, walking past Steve Nash, Metta World Peace, Jodie Meeks and Steve Blake, all of whom were in suits due to a wide variety of injuries that prevented them from playing.
Kobe Bryant, another injured Laker, gave his team's fans a slight lift, drawing cheers when he made his way to the bench, but on the court, the Lakers could get nothing going. San Antonio continued to flirt with a 20-point lead for much of the penultimate quarter, but the game's result was all over bar the final score.
Pau Gasol, the only remaining marquee name for the Lakers, was then substituted out for good with 3:08 left in the game, the score reading 103-80.
Tony Parker led all scorers with 23 points, three rebounds and four assists. Kawhi Leonard and DeJuan Blair added 13 points apiece, while Tim Duncan and Gary Neal chipped in 11 markers each.
Tracy McGrady made his Spurs debut, tallying an assist and a steal.
Pau Gasol paced the Lakers with 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Andrew Goudelock chipped in 14, while Dwight Howard produced seven points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes prior to his exit.
Howard and Gasol however accounted for 10 of their side's 21 turnovers.
The Lakers never led in the game, and gave up a 19-4 tally in fast break points to the Spurs.
San Antonio will now await the winner of the Denver Nuggets versus Golden State Warriors series, which has the Warriors up 2-1. - AMD, GMA News