For the Los Angeles Lakers, it was the game of the year — a performance they'd love to repeat.

As for the San Antonio Spurs, maybe they were just due for a clunker.

Whatever the case, Sunday's 105-81 romp was simply one win for the Lakers and one loss for the Spurs in their Western Conference semifinals, leaving San Antonio with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Game 4 will be played Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

"They're still in the driver's seat — we just want to tie it up," Lakers forward Karl Malone said Monday.

"Their key guys didn't have a good game," teammate Shaquille O'Neal said. "I expect them to have a better game tomorrow."

The Spurs couldn't play much more poorly if they tried, having shot 34.1 percent and committing 21 turnovers in Game 3.

That's only a part of it.

"Our defense was very soft," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We played as if we thought somebody was going to give us something. I was really disappointed."

But Popovich and his players made one thing clear — it wasn't just them.

"They helped us lay that egg. I thought the whole (San Antonio) team was discombobulated," Popovich said.

"We know we're playing a great team," said Robert Horry, who joined the Spurs this season after six and a half seasons with the Lakers. "We know we had a bad game, a really bad game — part due to us, part due to them."

O'Neal was at his dominating best with 28 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocked shots. He shot 11-of-13, leading the Lakers to a 56.9 percent effort from the floor.

"When we're playing like that, nobody's going to beat us," O'Neal said. "I urged my teammates to keep me involved. If they keep me involved, I'll lead us — I sure will."

Asked why the Lakers have had such a difficult time sustaining the kind of intensity they displayed Sunday, O'Neal was at a loss for words.

"I don't know, I don't know," he finally said.

Malone, Kobe Bryant and Gary Payton also were exceptional at both ends of the court in Game 3.

"The intensity was great. We have to bring more technique to it," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "You always have to play with some great intensity on defense. We've been building toward that in the playoffs."

San Antonio stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker combined for 104 points in the first two games. Game 3 was a much different story. Duncan shot 4-of-14 while scoring 10 points and Parker was 4-of-12 for eight points.

"I'm not one that likes to lose. I was a big part of us losing yesterday," Duncan said. "It's very disappointing. It's a lot about execution. They made some tweaks in their game plan, and they executed very well. They took Tony and myself out of it."

The loss snapped the Spurs' 17-game winning streak and was their first loss since March 23.

Pistons at Nets

Taking a swipe at the referees without naming names, Detroit Pistons coach Larry Brown charged Monday that some officials have tried to antagonize forward Rasheed Wallace.

"It's just not right, it's not fair," said Brown, whose Pistons lead the New Jersey Nets 2-1 in their Eastern Conference semifinal. "I just think they disrespect the kid in general, that's the bottom line. They can fine me or whatever they want, I'm just telling you a fact."

Brown was angered after Wallace was limited to 22 minutes because of foul trouble in New Jersey's 82-64 victory in Game 3.

Game 4 is Tuesday night in East Rutherford, N.J.

Wallace went to the bench with two personal fouls before Detroit scored its first point, and the Pistons were down 18 by the time the volatile forward returned four minutes into the second quarter.

After the game, Wallace said the Nets' victory should have an asterisk attached because of the way it was officiated — a comment that didn't sit well with Nets forward Kenyon Martin.

"It doesn't make any sense," said Martin, who played only 21 minutes because of foul trouble. "Didn't he play more minutes than I did?"

The Nets had their own issues with the officiating. Coach Lawrence Frank wondered why so many fouls were whistled against the Nets after Brown was given a technical foul late in the first quarter.

"I was told the technical and the 23 fouls that ensued had nothing to do with coach Brown's status as a coach," said Frank, the league's youngest head coach.

Brown has been coaching in the pros for 32 years, or one year less than Frank has been alive.

Earlier in the series, Brown angered Nets president Rod Thorn by making a dismissive remark about Frank while commenting on New Jersey's midseason coaching change from Byron Scott to Frank.

Brown took another minor shot at Frank on Monday, charging he regularly strays beyond the borders of the coaching box at a time when referees have been cracking down on that violation.

"As long as you police me, police the other guy. When you have a guy running out to halfcourt and yelling out plays and being on the court, I guess that doesn't apply to everybody else," Brown said.

Both teams were frustrated by the officiating, which disrupted the flow and sent several players to the bench for extended time. There were a total of 55 personal fouls, 30 against the Nets, and each team went to the free throw line 26 times.

"The way the game was being called and played, it was an ugly game," said Ben Wallace, who grabbed 24 of Detroit's 45 rebounds.

"It was established early that it wasn't about X's and O's, or coaches, or running plays. It was just about heart and determination. Everybody knows when they get running and get that crowd involved, they're a tough team to beat."

One of the best adjustments the Nets made was giving Kerry Kittles the defensive assignment on point guard Chauncey Billups, who shot just 1-for-10.

"There are very few players that understand the individual tendencies of players better than him," Frank said.