LOS ANGELES, March 29 (Ticker) --
Although the Sacramento Kings
usually own the title, the Los Angeles Lakers are currently
the best home team in the Western Conference.
had 34 points and 14 rebounds and Kobe Bryant
collected 34 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the
Lakers extended their home winning streak to 10 games with a
91-79 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Los Angeles has won just four of its last seven games, with all
three losses coming on the road. But the Lakers have been
displaying their championship form at the Staples Center, where
they have not lost since February 19.
Los Angeles led the entire fourth quarter but were clinging to
a 73-71 lead after Portland's Scottie Pippen sank a 3-pointer
with 8:49 left. The Lakers responded with a 15-4 run, led by
O'Neal, who who had two dunks, a jumper and made 2-of-4 free
throws during the stretch.
NBA TV highlights from|
Shaquille O'Neal always rises to the occasion in the big game. This was no exception.
Andrew D. Bernstein
Devean George scored half of his eight points during the spurt,
which gave Los Angeles an 88-75 cushion with 2:57 to play.
Samaki Walker grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds for the Lakers,
who moved within 1 1/2 games of first-place Sacramento in the
Damon Stoudamire scored 17 points and Shawn Kemp added 12 and
16 rebounds as Portland lost for the second time in three games
and fell into a tie with Minnesota for sixth place in the West.