5 things to watch: Spurs vs. Lakers Game 4


The San Antonio Spurs (3-0) will look to sweep the Los Angeles Lakers (0-3) out of the playoffs tonight in Los Angeles but if L.A. wants to avoid getting swept, they'll have to do it without key players.

Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Metta World Peace and of course Kobe Bryant will not play in Game 4 making the Lakers' job at avoiding an early summer vacation that much tougher. However, the Spurs are also limping heading into Game 4 with Boris Diaw and Tiago Splitter (ankle) out tonight.

The Spurs are coming off a 120-89 thrashing of L.A. in Game 3 in Los Angeles. Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 26 points, and nine rebounds.The Spurs shot a whopping 61%, and held a 49-35 rebounding edge and even a 7-3 edge in blocked shots.

And as the Spurs hope to advance to the second-round of the playoffs, here are five things to watch for during tonight's contest:

• The Spurs are 22-5 when Manu Ginobili records 18-or-more points off the bench in the playoffs.

• The Lakers fell behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven series for the eighth time in franchise history. In each of the previous seven times, they have gone on to lose the series in four games.
• The Lakers are 44-43 in postseason elimination games.
• Pau Gasol posted 11 points, 13 rebounds and a playoff career-high 10 assists in Game 3 against the Spurs for his first career postseason triple-double.

• When trailing 3-0 in a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 0-7 all-time.