LOS ANGELES - There would be no blown lead in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers saw to that.
Bryant scored 22 points, Lamar Odom added 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Lakers took command late in the second quarter to rout San Antonio 101-71 last night for a 2-0 lead over the Spurs.
Games 3 and 4 in the best-of-seven series will be played in San Antonio, where the Spurs have a 6-0 record in the postseason.
Only 14 of the 222 teams to fall behind 2-0 in best-of-seven NBA playoff series have come back to win, including the Spurs in their second-round matchup with the Hornets.
The Lakers had to rally from a 20-point third-quarter deficit to win the opener 89-85, and didn't take their first lead in that game until the final 3 minutes.
They never trailed in Game 2 - the third time in their last four playoff games that happened. After a basket by Tim Duncan enabled the Spurs to forge the only tie, the Lakers scored the final nine points of the second quarter for a 46-37 halftime lead.
San Antonio would get no closer.
The Lakers had reason to be leery as the second half began, considering the Spurs outscored them 14-2 to begin the third quarter in Game 2 for a 64-45 lead before the Lakers stormed back.
But Bryant scored seven points in the first two minutes of the third period, and Odom added seven more during a 20-10 run that gave the Lakers a 66-48 lead.
LAS VEGAS - A Clark County prosecutor says Charles Barkley is off the legal hook and the case on his $400,000 gambling debt is closed.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Bernie Zadrowski said that the retired NBA star sent a $40,000 check to pay statutory and bad check processing fees.
Earlier this week, Barkley paid $400,000 to Wynn Las Vegas after the resort filed a May 14 civil complaint in Nevada state court. It alleged Barkley failed to repay four $100,000 casino markers, or loans, received last Oct. 18 and 19.
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