Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tony Parker poured in a game-high 24 points, including the tie-breaking bucket with just over two minutes remaining to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a 91-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday at Staples Center.
Manu Ginobili netted 20 points, Kawhi Leonard donated 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Boris Diaw added 14 points for the Spurs, who were coming off a 101-94 win over Memphis in Wednesday's season opener.
With center Tim Duncan sidelined with a chest contusion he sustained against the Grizzlies, Tiago Splitter got the start and finished with nine points and 14 boards in the triumph.
"We didn't do anything different," San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich said of playing without Duncan. "We just ran what we always run, whether [Duncan] is there or not. If Tony was out or Manu was out, we'd run our same stuff."
Pau Gasol paced Los Angeles with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Jodie Meeks chipped in 14 points off the bench for the Lakers, who have lost two straight since opening the season with a 116-103 win over the Clippers.
Meeks' three-point play provided the Lakers with an 80-78 lead with 3:55 remaining, but Diaw answered with a jumper at the other end to even the score before Parker added a pull-up jumper just under 90 seconds later to give the Spurs a two-point lead with 2:10 left.
After Gasol split a pair of free throws on LA's next touch, Diaw knocked down a 3-pointer from the right wing to extend San Antonio's lead to 87-81 with 1:40 left on the clock.
Splitter tipped in his own miss following a missed 3-pointer from Steve Blake to increase the margin before Meeks' reverse layup with 24.8 seconds left brought LA within 87-83.
Diaw then missed two from the charity stripe to leave the door open, but Ginobili came up with a steal of Meeks and finished a fastbreak dunk at the other end to all but end LA's comeback bid.
"There was a lot better execution on their part," Gasol admitted. "They made a couple of big shots, and we didn't counter. Diaw played very well down the stretch."
The Spurs shot a woeful 25 percent (7-for-28) in the first quarter and trailed by 15 early in the second before Parker capped a 15-2 San Antonio surge with a pull-up jumper from the left side that brought the Spurs within 35-33 with five minutes left in the first half.
The Lakers limped into the break with a 42-41 lead before falling behind by five, 60-55, late in the third following an 8-3 swing from the Spurs.
Meeks' driving layup just before the third-period horn brought the Lakers within 63-61 heading into the final frame.
Both teams turned the ball over 12 times ... Wesley Johnson finished with 12 points for the Lakers ... San Antonio scored 20 seconds-chance points, compared to just eight for Los Angeles ... The teams combined to go 13-of-48 from 3-point range.