Tim Duncan had 22 points, 21 rebounds and five assists, and Tony Parker added 20 points for the Spurs, who remained unbeaten at home this postseason and avoided falling into an 3-0 hole, which no NBA team has overcome.
The Lakers lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is tomorrow in San Antonio.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 30 points, and Paul Gasol scored 15. Lamar Odom struggled all night, finishing 2-for-11 from the field for seven points. But he had six of the Lakers‘ 13 assists and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers also struggled at the free throw line, going just 8-for-17.
Then Bryant did what Bryant does: almost single-handedly pulled his team out of the hole. He hit four 3-pointers over the course of less than 2½ minutes, and his last one brought the Lakers within 88-76 with five minutes left.
Reserve Jordan Farmar scored 10 points for the Lakers.
In the first half, Parker was penetrating the paint, but Ginobili was the big key for the Spurs. He had 22 points at halftime — more than the 17 he scored in Games 1 and 2 combined. And even his injured left ankle was bothering him, he didn’t need it to explode to the basket because he hit 3-pointer after 3-pointer.
After Bryant’s driving dunk past Duncan with 4:57 left in the first quarter put the Lakers up 15-8, Ginobili hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the same spot on the wing to get the Spurs within a point.
He didn’t stop in the second quarter.
His 3-pointer 4½ minutes in put the Spurs up 33-30, then he got to the rim about 30 seconds later and was fouled. His free throw made it 36-32.
Ginobili hit his fifth 3-pointer of the night as the shot clock expired with less than a minute left in the first half. The Spurs outscored the Lakers 28-15 in the second quarter for a 49-39 lead at halftime.
Odom was 1-for-7 from the field in the first half, and guard Derek Fisher was scoreless.