Tim Duncan scores 25, Tony Parker has 22 to lead Spurs over Lakers 105-85

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The San Antonio Spurs didn't care that they beat a Los Angeles Lakers team missing Pau Gasol and, for the final quarter, Kobe Bryant.
Tim Duncan had 25 points and 13 rebounds, and the Spurs beat the Lakers 105-85 on Tuesday night. But the Spurs were well aware these weren't the same defending NBA champions they spent the off-season trying to keep up with.
"We needed this one," Duncan said. "Obviously they're dealing with some injuries, and Kobe doesn't play in the fourth quarter or whatever it may be, but it's a great win for us. We'll take it where we can get it."
Bryant had 16 points and attempted a season-low 10 field goals before leaving in the third quarter after injuring his back in the first half. He said he's "pretty sure" he will play Wednesday at Dallas.
"I could barely move," Bryant said. "I tried to orchestrate some things for my team, couldn't walk. I literally couldn't walk. It's the only way I don't play."
Bryant is already trying to overcome a broken right index finger that has hampered his shooting of late. In a win over Milwaukee on Sunday, Bryant scored 12 on 4-of-21 shooting. He continued wearing a splint over the finger against the Spurs.
Elsewhere in the NBA it was: Detroit 99 Washington 90; Washington 102 Houston 94; Memphis 104 Los Angeles Clippers 102; and Orlando 109 Sacramento 88.
At San Antonio, Andrew Bynum scored 23 points, and Ron Artest had 13 but sprained his right index finger during the game. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Artest is day-to-day, and said Gasol has set his sights on returning Friday against the Clippers.
Los Angeles has lost three of four - its worst slump yet by the standards of the NBA's best team. But banged-up or not, Bryant is not tolerating any excuses for the Lakers.
"It's part of the business," Bryant said. "I won't allow my guys to even think about that or have that attitude."
Tony Parker scored 22 points for the Spurs, who didn't exactly celebrate the victory afterward despite getting a rare win against a strong opponent. The Lakers are just the fourth winning team San Antonio has beaten this season, but none the calibre of the defending NBA champions.
Richard Jefferson, who scored 12 points, said the Lakers' injuries didn't dampen the victory since the Spurs saw it as just another win.
"We know (the Lakers) will be a much different team, a much better team when the playoffs start. So will we," Jefferson said. "We're not overly excited about the win, so I don't know what's to be dampened."
The Spurs and Lakers dominated the last decade, winning seven titles between them. In the first meeting of this decade, the Lakers whittled a 22-point deficit to six midway through the fourth but the Spurs finished on a 18-5 burst.
"I thought they played poorly," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I thought when you get down by six points, you turn the ball over twice in situations like that, you're just giving the game away. There's no excuse for that."
Few teams have been hotter over the last month than San Antonio. The Spurs are 14-4 since Dec. 9, trailing only Cleveland (15-4) for the best record over that stretch.
None of those wins may have been as satisfying as this one. The Spurs (23-13) have built their winning record on the backs of weak competition, going 19-2 against teams with losing records. But they've wilted consistently against winning teams, including a loss Friday against Dallas.
But the Spurs had been looking forward to this litmus test. They spent lavishly last summer for the unsaid purpose of keeping up with the Lakers, and here was a chance to show if they got their money's worth.
Instead, their older investments led this win. Duncan was 12-of-19 from the field while Parker shot 10-of-18. Parker scored nine points in the fourth quarter.
"Obviously Kobe didn't play the fourth, but a win is a win," Parker said. "We'll take it."
Pistons 99 Wizards 90
At Washington, Detroit finally found a team in worse shape than it is and ended a 13-game losing streak by beating the Wizards behind Charlie Villanueva's 23 points and nine rebounds.
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Bobcats 102 Rockets 94
At Charlotte, N.C., Stephen Jackson scored 16 of his career-high 43 points in the fourth quarter and the Bobcats clamped down on defence after halftime to rally past Houston.
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Grizzlies 104 Clippers 102
At Memphis, Tenn., Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol each scored 24 points, Zach Randolph added 20, and Memphis snapped Los Angeles' four-game winning streak.
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Magic 109 Kings 88
At Sacramento, Calif., Dwight Howard had 30 points and 16 rebounds, and Orlando used a big run to open the fourth quarter and beat the Kings.

Organizations: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, San Antonio Spurs Kings

Geographic location: San Antonio, Dallas, Los Angeles Milwaukee Cleveland Washington Detroit Charlotte, N.C. Houston Memphis, Tenn. Memphis Sacramento, Calif. Orlando

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