(SAN ANTONIO) — Kobe Bryant scored 18 points in his return for the Lakers (40-24) on Friday night but the San Antonio Spurs spoiled that effort with a 121-97 win over Los Angeles.
Tim Duncan scored 21 points in the win for the Spurs (46-16), followed by 20 apiece from Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker in their sixth straight win to remain a half game ahead of Oklahoma City for the No.1 seed in the West.
“We feel we’re healthy going into the playoffs, we love our chances,” said Duncan.
“They did a great job spacing the floor,” said Bryant who missed seven games with a bruised left shin. “As a result, our defense was always late. It was always playing catch up on possessions. They did a great job shooting the ball. They did a great job on close outs. They played extremely well.”
These two teams could meet again in the first round of the playoffs.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN