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Bryant a frustrated tweeter during Lakers' playoff loss

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) watches free throws at end of game against the Portland Trail Blazers during second half
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) watches free throws at end of game against the Portland Trail Blazers during second half

(Reuters) - Kobe Bryant was a frustrated television viewer and a passionate tweeter as he watched the Los Angeles Lakers lose 91-79 to the Spurs in their first-round playoff opener in San Antonio on Sunday.

Sidelined for the rest of the season after having surgery on an injured Achilles tendon, five-time NBA champion Bryant kept urging on the Lakers big men, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, to make the most of their inside presence.

Though Howard finished with a game-high 20 points and 15 rebounds and Spaniard Gasol with 16 points and 16 rebounds, the Lakers fell short after out-rebounding the Spurs by a narrow 44-43 margin.

"Post. Post. Post," Bryant tweeted during the game. "Gotta milk pau in the post right now and d12. Will get good looks from it."

Earlier, Bryant had tweeted: "What I would say if I was there right now? "Pau get ur on the block and don't move till u get it" #realtalk."

Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni, when asked by reporters for his views on Bryant's pleas via Twitter for a greater inside presence, replied: "Yeah, that's what we did. It's great to have that commentary."

Point guard Tony Parker and his backup Manu Ginobili each scored 18 points for the Spurs who never trailed after going 4-2 up early in the opening quarter.

The seventh-seeded Lakers gave their fans a glimmer of hope when they cut the lead to four in the third quarter after Gasol's turnaround jumper made it 54-50 with 4:49 left.

However Ginobili scored the Spurs' final eight points of that quarter to put San Antonio ahead 70-57 and the home team maintained control the rest of the way to draw first blood in the best-of-seven series.

"Nothing worse than watching your bothers struggle and u can't do crap about it #realtalk," Bryant tweeted.

"On to game 2. I will be watching from the crib again in a pau jersey and laker face paint ha! All jk aside We will be fine on wed."

The second-seeded Spurs, who have clinched four NBA titles and ended the regular season second best in the West with a 58-24 record, again host the Lakers on Wednesday before the series switches to Los Angeles for Game Three on Friday.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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