LOS ANGELES Time finally may have run out on the San Antonio Spurs both for this season and in their cumulative years.
The group of 30-something Spurs could not keep up with the in-their-20s Los Angeles Lakers.
After another fast start at Staples Center, San Antonio seemed to tire, again blowing a substantial lead and falling 100-92 on Thursday night as the Lakers won Game 5 to advance to the NBA Finals.
San Antonio, which has won three of the past five NBA titles, took a 17-point lead in the second quarter, but the Lakers caught up in the third and put the game away late in the fourth.
In the Western Conference finals opener, San Antonio was up by 20 in the third quarter on the Lakers' court before the Spurs began to struggle and Los Angeles stormed back to win 89-85.
Tony Parker, at 26 the lone member of the Spurs' regular rotation under 30, and 32-year-old Tim Duncan did their part in Game 5, with Parker scoring 23 points and Duncan getting 19 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.
But down the stretch, the Lakers again outplayed them and teammates Bruce Bowen and Brent Barry, each 36; Michael Finely, 35; and Manu Ginobili, 30.
By contrast, Kobe Bryant, 29 and the Lakers' oldest regular except for 33-year-old backcourtmate Derek Fisher, led Los Angeles with 39 points. Pau Gasol, 27, had 19 rebounds and 12 points, while Lamar Odom, 28, chipped in with 13 points and eight rebounds.