San Antonio, TX – Tim Duncan scored 21 points and the Spurs spoiled Kobe Bryant's return with a 121-97 rout of the Lakers on Friday.
Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili both added 20 points for the Spurs, who won their sixth straight and remain a half-game game ahead of Oklahoma City atop the Western Conference. The Thunder defeated the Kings on Friday.
Bryant missed the previous seven games with a sore left shin. The Lakers went 5-2 over that span, but trailed by as many as 26 on Friday. They are seeded third in the West and lead the Clippers by a half-game in both the Pacific Division and the conference.
Andrew Bynum scored 17 points in the setback, Bryant finished with 18 and Matt Barnes added 14.
The first half was tightly contested, featuring five ties and six lead changes. San Antonio held a 56-52 advantage at the break, then decisively pulled away in the third quarter.
Consecutive baskets from Boris Diaw and Parker pushed the advantage to double- digits, 71-61, near the midway point and Ginobili later scored five straight, making a stepback baseline jumper and then three consecutive free throws, for an 84-65 lead.
It was 91-73 entering the fourth quarter and San Antonio's lead continued to mount. Matt Bonner opened with a three-pointer and a layup before Gary Neal hit a 16-footer, stretching the margin to 98-73.
A three-pointer from Danny Green in the closing minutes made it 116-90, marking the Spurs' largest lead of the game.
San Antonio shot a season-high 61 percent from the field...The Lakers had won their previous two visits to San Antonio.