Source: Xinhua

05-31-2008 10:00

BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Kobe Bryant showed why he's so valuable, scoring 17 or his 39 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers came back from a 17-point deficit to defeat the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs 100-92.

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (L) and Sasha Vujacic (R) fight for the loose ball with San Antonio Spurs' Brent Barry during Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference final basketball playoff series in San Antonio, Texas May 27, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters file Photo)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (L) and 
Sasha Vujacic (R) fight for the loose ball
with San Antonio Spurs' Brent Barry during
Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference 
final basketball playoff series in San Antonio,
Texas May 27, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters file Photo)

After knocking off the Spurs in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers get a week off to rest up before opening the NBA finals next Thursday night at Boston or Detroit. The Celtics lead the Eastern Conference finals 3-2 with Game 6 on Friday night in Detroit.

"I think it is a tremendous accomplishment," Bryant said. "I think the West is extremely tough. We're all extremely excited and proud about it. Now, it's time to go on and see if we can't finish it off."

"My heart’s still pumping, that adrenaline is still running from the game," said Lamar Odom, who had 13 points and eight rebounds. "Maybe when I sit down and have something to eat, I'll realize what just happened."

Pau Gasol had 12 points, a career playoff-high 19 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots and backup guards Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar added nine and eight points, respectively.

Tony Parker scored 23 points and Duncan had 19 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists for the Spurs. Michael Finley scored 13 points, Barry and Kurt Thomas added 11 each and Ginobili was held to nine, shooting just 3-for-9.

Former Lakers star and executive Jerry West presented the Lakers the Western Conference championship trophy on the court following the game. By that time, the players were all wearing T-shirts and caps denoting their championship status.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson has won nine championships, tied for the NBA record with former Boston coach Red Auerbach.

"I like not to get involved personally in this and think of this as a team effort," he said regarding what playing in the NBA Finals means to him. "As much as I appreciate the league trying to emphasize the Western Conference trophy, that doesn’t mean too much when that big prize is still out there."


Editor:Xiong Qu