Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/14/12
LOS ANGELES -- There is BC and there is AD, but is there BD'A? In a state of flux between former head coach Mike Brown and future head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Los Angeles Lakers could not send interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff off on a high note. If, in fact, Bickerstaff coached his last game for Los Angeles. The San Antonio Spurs won a back-and-forth battle with the host Lakers 84-82 Tuesday night at Staples Center in what was possibly Bickerstaff's final game at the helm. Spurs shooting guard Danny Green hit the game-winning 3-pointer with just under 10 seconds left, and the Lakers could only manage an awkward 3-point attempt from the corner by Pau Gasol as time ran out. The shot hit the rim and bounced away. "We executed the play very well," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Green's shot. "Of course, you still have to knock it down, and Danny did. (Tim Duncan) set a great screen; it worked for us." While D'Antoni continues to recover from knee surgery, the Lakers await word of when he'll join the team. The former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks coach was hired in a surprise move late Sunday night, a day after the Lakers interviewed their former coach, Phil Jackson. D'Antoni is expected to join the team either Friday against the once-familiar Suns or Sunday against the Houston Rockets. Under Bickerstaff, Los Angeles (3-5) played with more freedom and showed less stress on offense than it had under Brown. The Lakers won their first two games with Bickerstaff calling the shots prior to Tuesday's loss. "The kids have been reaching out," Bickerstaff said. "There's Kobe (Bryant), who doesn't get an opportunity to practice (due to a foot injury), but he's out there gutting it out and playing. You're talking about a young man (Dwight Howard) who is coming back from back surgery. He's out there playing. I don't but into that theory on a lack of effort. I haven't seen that." The Lakers' effort was enough to win most of the statistical battles, but not the game. San Antonio (7-1) shot just 39 percent from the field and was outrebounded 48-38, but the Spurs committed just eight turnovers while forcing 17. "We played pretty good defense, and I like those kinds of wins," said point guard Tony Parker, who led the Spurs with 19 points. "Those are good. We need those wins when we're not shooting the ball well, not hitting 15 threes, and still win the game." Green picked a good time to make up for a poor shooting effort, as he finished just 4-for-12 from the field for 11 points. The game-winner was his third 3-pointer in seven attempts. Duncan added 18 points and nine rebounds. "(The win) is great for us," Duncan said. "We didn't shoot the ball well, we had a lot of open shots. We worked the ball pretty well, got the shots we wanted, just didn't knock them down. To get a win like that, in this situation, is great for us." Bryant led all scorers with 28 points, and he added eight assists. Howard finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds, and Gasol added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Bryant had 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting at the half to go along with five assists, while Howard added eight points, five rebounds and three blocked shots. The Lakers dominated San Antonio on the glass in the first half, winning the rebounding battle, 27-18, as Spurs big men Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter combined for only seven rebounds. Parker had 11 points at the half to lead San Antonio, but no other player scored more than Duncan's six. As a team, the Spurs shot just 16-of-43 from the field and 3-of-12 from 3-point range before the break. NOTES: Lakers point guard Steve Nash remains out with a non-displaced fracture in his left leg. His backup, Steve Blake, missed the game with an abdominal strain. Blake remains day-to-day with the injury after an ultrasound on Monday. Darius Morris got the start at point guard for the Lakers, and he managed just one point and one assist in 21 minutes. ... San Antonio won the season series last season after the teams tied the previous two years. ... Entering the game, the Lakers ranked 30th in the NBA in turnovers (18.14 per game).
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