Timmy was in street clothes, out with a chest contusion, and the shots weren't falling early on, but San Antonio found a way to get the win against a scrappy Lakers team that already surprised the Clippers in their season-opener despite being without star Kobe Bryant.
Boris Diaw left a big, pear-shaped imprint on the game, even though his numbers won't show it nearly enough. All 14 of his points came in the second half, when the team ran much of their offense through Diaw on the block. The Frenchman used his substantial circumference to back down his defender, often commanding double teams and leading to baskets for teammates. He also provided the biggest play of the game, knocking down a three-pointer that put the Spurs up 85-81 with under two minutes left.
Manu and Tony also played big parts in the win, going for 20 and 24 points on a combined 19 of 32 shooting from the field. Tony hit multiple contested jumpers -- including one off a jump-ball when the game was tied at 80 as the shot clock was winding down. Neither Nash (who played little in the second half) nor Blake could contain Parker, who also had six assists to just one turnover for the game.
Manu continued to debunk premature theories of his demise, imposing his will on the offensive end of the floor. But it was his play on the defensive end that sealed the win for San Antonio: with the Lakers down 4, Ginobili stripped Jodie Meeks of the ball as he drove to the basket. Diaw eventually ended up with it, and found him for the emphatic two-hand dunk.
Of course there's no rest for the weary, as the Spurs head to Portland for a game against the Trail Blazers Saturday night.
More from Pounding The Rock:
- The rumors of Ginobili's demise were greatly exaggerated
- J.R. Wilco talks about the Spurs win over the Grizzlies on The Phil Naessens Show
- Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers
- Manu Ginobili's interview with Argentine paper Ole (translated)
- Tim Duncan's injury is only a bruise (contusion)