March 7, 2011 in Sports

Lakers dominate Spurs in San Antonio

Associated Press photo

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives between the Spurs’ Tony Parker, left, and Manu Ginobili during the first half.
(Full-size photo)

London games a success

 The NBA’s latest European foray not only gave the Nets a lift, it also gave a shot in the arm to Britain’s hopes of competing in next year’s London Olympics.

 Played in front of packed crowds of 18,700 fans at the O2 Arena in London on Friday and Saturday, the Nets swept the Raptors in the first regular-season NBA games played in Europe.

 “The crowd was unbelievable,” said Italy’s Andrea Bargnani, who plays for the Raptors. “It’s great the Olympics are going to be here.”

 Britain’s basketball officials will learn Sunday whether FIBA will allow Britain’s men’s and women’s teams to compete in the 2012 Games.

 The success of the NBA games in London bodes well for their chances, showing there is a fanbase and market for the sport in Britain.

Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, Pau Gasol had 21 and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers embarrassed the NBA-best San Antonio Spurs for their seventh consecutive victory, 99-83 on Sunday.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 14 points. He was their only starter in double figures.

The Lakers trail the Spurs by 6 1/2 games in the West, and coach Phil Jackson conceded before tipoff it was unlikely they’d catch up. But they can take satisfaction in emphatically ending San Antonio’s franchise-record home win streak at 22 games.

Two days after San Antonio humiliated LeBron James and Miami in a 30-point blowout, the Spurs took their own lumps. The NBA’s sixth-highest scoring team mustered just 37 points in the first half – matching a season low – and shot 36 percent from the floor.

Tim Duncan had two points on 1 of 7 shooting. Manu Ginobili had six points and was 3 for 10. Parker shot 6 for 14.

Andrew Bynum had 17 rebounds for the Lakers.

Bulls 87, Heat 86: Derrick Rose scored 27 points, Luol Deng capped an 18-point effort with two free throws that put Chicago ahead for good, and the visiting Bulls beat Miami to hand the Heat their fourth straight loss.

Carlos Boozer scored 12 and Joakim Noah added 11 for the Bulls, who moved a game ahead of Miami into outright possession of second place in the Eastern Conference and beat the Heat for the third time this season.

LeBron James scored 26 points, Chris Bosh added 23 and Dwyane Wade had 20 for the Heat. James and Wade both missed shots that would have won it for Miami in the final 8 seconds.

Pistons 113, Wizards 102: In Aubrun Hills, Mich., Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye combined for 31 points, helping Detroit build a lead it wouldn’t relinquish in a win over Washington.

Tayshaun Prince added 20 points for the Pistons.

John Wall had 24 points and seven assists for the Wizards.

Around the league

New Orleans point guard Chris Paul was taken from the floor on a stretcher after sustaining a concussion during the third quarter Sunday night in the Hornets’ game against Cleveland. … The Boston Celtics have signed veteran Carlos Arroyo for the rest of the season after the guard was released by the Miami Heat.

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