Los Angeles, CA – With four guards sidelined, the Los Angeles Lakers looked to Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris for a boost against the San Antonio Spurs.
What they got was the worst home playoff loss in Lakers history. Now, they're are on the verge of being swept in the first round of a playoff series for the first time.
Tim Duncan registered 26 points and nine rebounds and Tony Parker scored 20 in San Antonio's 120-89 rout of the Lakers in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
The Spurs, who shot 61.2 percent from the field, also got 13 points from DeJuan Blair, 12 from Kawhi Leonard and 11 from Danny Green.
Spurs power forward/center Tiago Splitter did suffer a sprained left ankle in the team's final offensive possession of the third quarter, however.
Pau Gasol had a triple-double of 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the Lakers, who also received 25 points and 11 boards from Dwight Howard. Morris scored 24 and Goudelock 20. Metta World Peace was held scoreless in 17 minutes.
Steve Nash sat out for Los Angeles with a strained right hamstring and Jodie Meeks missed a second game with a sprained left ankle. Steve Blake (strained right hamstring) and Kobe Bryant (torn left Achilles tendon) were already ruled out.
The Spurs can sweep the series Sunday at Staples Center.
"Our focus has been very good," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It starts with post defense and rebounding the basketball. They're doing a good job against Pau and Dwight. We're playing better defense than the last three weeks of the season."
San Antonio took command early by hitting 61 percent of its shots in the first quarter, led by eight points from Duncan. Conversely, the Lakers went 8-of-23.
Included in the period was a 14-2 flurry, which was capped by a Parker layup for a 17-8 difference. The margin stood at 30-18 after 12 minutes.
The double-digit spread stayed throughout the second quarter with the visitors holding a 55-44 advantage at the half.
"In the first half we gave it everything we had and it wasn't enough," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "They ran out of gas at the end. Times are tough right now. I don't fault the effort. We'll try to play as hard as we can on Sunday."
Duncan, who went 12-of-16 from the field, increased the lead to 81-59 on a putback jam with 2:52 left in the third.
"I got a rhythm going early and stayed away from Pau and Dwight's length," Duncan said. "We respect our opponents so we stay focused. We had a lot of pick-and-rolls and ball movement tonight. Focus and health is what we need and we need to close this series out."
Splitter got tangled up with Darius Morris moving toward the basket. Splitter hobbled to the locker room after compiling five points and six rebounds.
San Antonio's lead reached as high as 33 in the fourth quarter.
"It's difficult. We have guys not accustomed to playing together," Gasol said. "We had too many breakdowns. It's a challenge for us. Our backs are against the wall and it's tough to overcome that. We'll see how much fight we have on Sunday."
The only time the Spurs swept the Lakers in the playoffs came in the 1999 conference semifinals ... The Lakers were 4-of-20 from 3-point range ... Howard went 7-of-15 at the foul line.