Basketball: Spurs beat Lakers in series opener

San Antonio's star trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined for 53 points today to lead the Spurs to a 91-79 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in their NBA playoff opener, while Indiana downed Atlanta 107-90.

Veteran Spurs centre Duncan posted the 139th playoff double-double of his career with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

France's Parker added 18 points and eight assists and also made three steals while Argentina's Ginobili, showing no sign of the hamstring strain that sidelined him late in the regular season, contributed 18 points off the bench.

Boomers point guard Patty Mills wasn't able to get off the bench for the Spurs.

The result in the first game of the best-of-seven Western Conference series was what many expected after the Lakers lost superstar Kobe Bryant to a torn Achilles tendon the week before the playoffs began.

The Lakers were the last team to clinch a post-season berth. They managed to claim the seventh seed in the West, setting up the clash with San Antonio and avoiding top seeded Oklahoma City.

But even with point guard Steve Nash back from an extended injury absence the Lakers clearly have a mountainous task ahead of them.

Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol did what they could. Howard scored 20 points with 15 rebounds and Gasol delivered 16 points, 16 rebounds and six assists.

Nash scored 16 points in 29 minutes on the floor, but the Lakers couldn't overcome 18 turnovers and lacklustre 3-of-15 shooting from three-point range.

In the Eastern Conference, Paul George produced a triple-double to power the Pacers to a 107-90 game one victory over Atlanta.

George posted 23 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds to lead Pacers to their first game-one win in a playoff series since 2006.

Indiana's four other starters also scored in double figures, with George Hill contributing 18 points and Roy Hibbert 16. David West and Lance Stephenson added 13 points each for the Pacers.

- AFP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf01 at 27 Nov 2014 17:41:49 Processing Time: 437ms