LOS ANGELES, Oct. 26 (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal
had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Devean George
scored 15 points as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 90-71 Friday night in the preseason finale for both teams.
The two-time defending champion Lakers (4-4) will open the regular season next Tuesday night at home against Portland without guard Derek Fisher and reserve forward Mark Madsen, both of whom underwent offseason surgery. Fisher, recovering from a stress fracture in his right foot, isn't expected back until Thanksgiving at the earliest.
Shaq drives on the Suns in the preseason finale.
Catherine Steenkeste/NBAE Photos
scored 18 points for the Suns (5-3), who have not had a losing preseason record in 13 years. They begin the regular season at home for the first time in four years when they play Denver on Tuesday night.
Los Angeles took a 68-56 lead into the fourth quarter after holding the Suns to 6-for-26 shooting in the third. The Lakers broke it open with a 13-4 run, capped by George's slam dunk off an alley-oop pass from Mike Penberthy. It gave them an 81-60 cushion with 4:03 remaining.
O'Neal's 11 points and seven rebounds paced Los Angeles to a 47-40 halftime lead. After falling behind by as many as 11 points in the first seven minutes of play, the Lakers pulled ahead 38-36 with a 17-6 run that included by six points by George.
Phoenix guard Stephon Marbury, who missed his second straight game because of a strained left hamstring, would have sat out this one anyway for violating team rules. Teammates Vinny Del Negro, Jud Buechler and Jake Tsakalidis got trapped in their hotel elevator in Marina del Rey for more than an hour, but made it on time to the arena.