7 Mar 2011

Lakers dump Spurs

3:10 pm on 7 March 2011

The two-time defending NBA basketball champion Los Angeles Lakers handed league-leader San Antonio a punishing 99-83 defeat on their home floor.

In a game billed as a possible Western Conference finals preview, the Lakers brought the Spurs' 22-game home winning streak to an abrupt halt and won their seventh in a row, launching what was expected to be a tough seven-day road trip with a bang.

Kobe Bryant scored 26 points and Pau Gasol added 21 for the Lakers, who used a red-hot shooting start and suffocating defence to beat a Spurs team that had beaten them twice this season.

The Lakers held San Antonio to 36 per cent shooting and led by as many as 32 points in a contest that was even more lopsided than the final score indicated.

Meanwhile Derrick Rose scored a game-high 27 points and Luol Deng added 18 to spark the Chicago Bulls past Miami 87-86, sending the Heat to its fourth loss in a row and fifth in six games.

The Bulls improved to 43-18, remaining ahead of the Heat (43-20) for the second-best record behind Boston in the Eastern Conference. Chicago also completed a three-game sweep of the season series with Miami.