SAN ANTONIO, Texas, - San Antonio's star trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined for 53 points Sunday to lead the Spurs to a 91-79 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in their NBA playoff opener, while Indiana downed Atlanta 107-90.
Veteran Spurs centre Duncan posted the 139th playoff double-double of his career with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
France's Parker added 18 points and eight assists and also made three steals while Argentina's Ginobili, showing no sign of the hamstring strain that sidelined him late in the regular season, contributed 18 points off the bench.
Boomers point guard Patty Mills wasn't able to get off the bench for the Spurs.
The result in the first game of the best-of-seven Western Conference series was what many expected after the Lakers lost superstar Kobe Bryant to a torn Achilles tendon the week before the playoffs began.
The Lakers were the last team to clinch a post-season berth. They managed to claim the seventh seed in the West, setting up the clash with San Antonio and avoiding top seeded Oklahoma City.
But even with point guard Steve Nash back from an extended injury absence the Lakers clearly have a mountainous task ahead of them.