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 last night to rout the San Antonio Spurs, 101-71, and take a lead of two games to none in the best-of-seven series.
Games 3 and 4 will be played in San Antonio, where the Spurs have a 6-0 record in the postseason and have won 20 of their last 22 games.
Only 14 of the 222 teams to lose the first two games of a best-of-seven NBA playoff series have come back to win, including the Spurs in their second-round matchup with New Orleans this season.
But this figures to be a much tougher assignment. San Antonio has to be perfect at home and win a game at the Staples Center, where the Lakers are 7-0 in the postseason.
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 three 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.
Tony Parker led the Spurs with 13 points and four assists. Duncan was the only other San Antonio player in double figures, with 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Manu Ginobili was ineffective again, shooting 2 for 8 and scoring seven points. He shot 3 for 13 and scored 13 points in the opener.
Barkley case closed.
A prosecutor in Clark County, Nev., 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 the retired NBA star sent a $40,000 check to pay statutory and bad-check-processing fees.