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Turnovers Give Spurs the Game 1 Victory Over Lakers

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Photo by =Manny= via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Laker fans seemed awfully confident that the Lakers could upset the Spurs in the first round. I wonder how they feel after the Spurs took Game 1 91-79.

There was some hope for the fans. The Lakers held a 2-0 lead until Tim Duncan hit a jump shot two minutes into the game. Then the turnovers came into play. The Lakers coughed the ball up 12 times in the first half which led to seven points for the Spurs. The Spurs led by eight points at the half.

With Kobe Bryant not able to travel, he was left to coach on Twitter which was really compelling to follow. His sentiment echoed probably every Laker fan out there:

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He said it a little better later on in the game:

It's true. With Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, you have to take advantage of the size in the paint. However the Lakers have a similar problem that the Memphis Grizzlies have. If they kick the ball out to the jump shooters, can they trust them to knock down the open shots?

Steve Nash started out slow but eventually found his form to go 6-for-15 (40%) from the field. Steve Blake, although having his moments on defense, was 5-for-13 (38%). Metta World Peace was 2-for-9 (22%).

Until the Lakers shooters prove otherwise, the Spurs can just crash the paint and make life difficult for Gasol and Howard.

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Gasol had 16 points and 16 rebounds, Howard 20 points and 15 rebounds. Blake and Nash added 12 points and 16 points respectively. But the bench was nonexistent with 10 points. Compare that to the Spurs bench who got 40 points.

The Lakers did a good job on defense, a phrase that sounds weird when talking about the Lakers this season. They held the Spurs to 38% shooting, although they had a hard time of containing Manu Ginobli who had 18 points in 19 minutes off the bench.

But the stat that really jumps out is the Spurs winning the fast break points 17-2. If the Lakers have any chance to upsetting the Spurs in this series, they need to cut down on the turnovers. The Lakers are not a good transition defense team, and that's putting it generously.

Game 2 will be on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on TNT. Hopefully the Lakers will be able to make the adjustments needed to steal one game in San Antonio.