"We didn't match their energy at all," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "I just thought we sort of floated through the game. Duncan was great, as usual. Timmy is a pro. ... He's really the only guy on the team that played like somebody who wanted to win a championship."
Duncan echoed Popovich's concerns about the Spurs' recent play while also expressing surprise at Popovich's decision to disrupt the team's chemistry by dumping Jackson so close to the postseason. Kawhi Leonard, whose increased prominence led to Jackson's dissatisfaction and dismissal, managed just eight points in 33 minutes against the Lakers, making only one field goal.
"We're two games away from the playoffs, and Manu (Ginobili) is still not here, Tony is still finding his rhythm," Duncan said. "We're not scoring at the rate we need to, but we're a veteran team, and we're confident we can get it together."
The Spurs couldn't have anticipated that the Lakers' biggest offensive surprise would be their backup point guard: Blake scored 14 points in the second quarter and hit four 3-pointers, fearlessly stepping up to create shots while Nash missed his seventh straight game with a right hamstring injury. Los Angeles is hoping Nash can return for the season finale.
NOTES: Blake outscored Parker 18-2 in the first half. ... The Lakers signed G Andrew Goudelock in time for the second-year pro to be in uniform. Goudelock was Los Angeles' second-round pick in 2011, and he showed enough scoring promise in 40 games of action last season to earn the nickname "Mini Mamba" from Lakers fans. He was waived in training camp last fall and spent this season with two NBA D-League teams. Goudelock would be eligible for the postseason if the Lakers make it. ... Charlize Theron, Edward James Olmos and Andy Garcia watched near courtside.
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