L.A. Lakers 111, Cleveland 106 (OT)
CLEVELAND, Feb. 4 (Ticker) --
The veteran savvy of Shaquille O'Neal
and Gary Payton
was too much for young LeBron James
NBA TV highlights from|
O'Neal scored 37 points and Payton added 30 - both season highs
- to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 111-106 overtime victory
over James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Returning from a one-game suspension, O'Neal made 14-of-20 shots
as he overpowered Zydrunas Ilgauskas
and DeSagana Diop
the Cavaliers to foul. O'Neal made just 9-of-20 free throws
but sank a pair to tie it with 32 seconds left in regulation.
"After my brief little suspension, I said to myself that I was
going to get 50," O'Neal said. "I was on that mind-set to get
50, but I had a horrible night at the free-throw line."
Payton made 12-of-20 shots, sinking clutch jumpers late in
regulation and in overtime. He also did a solid job on James,
forcing him into an airball at the end of the fourth quarter.
"I wanted him to take a tough shot, and he didn't hit it," said
Payton, who shares an agent with James.
"He had one of his best games tonight and helped his team win,"
The performance by the future Hall of Famers was just enough to
hold off the surging Cavaliers, who had won five of their
previous six games to move into the Eastern Conference playoff
"Shaq talked to me about playing alongside him," Payton said.
"We stayed in rhythm. We were making two or three passes."
James scored 32 points on 12-of-26 shooting. He made 4-of-4
3-pointers but could not come through when it counted, missing
shots at the end of regulation and overtime.
had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who
shot 52 percent (41-of-79) and improved to 2-1 on their
season-high seven-game road trip.
"We were able to hold them off in the overtime and play some
defense and make some foul shots, which was the reason why that
game ended up going into overtime," said Lakers coach Phil
Jackson, whose club made just 26-of-42 foul shots.
had 25 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists for
the Cavaliers, who fell to 2-3 in overtime this season.
O'Neal ended regulation with two free throws and began overtime
with a follow shot, giving the Lakers the lead for good. A
3-pointer by James cut the deficit to 98-95 with 2:23 to go, but
O'Neal - working against the smaller Boozer - made a free throw
and jump hook to rebuild the lead to six points with 1:22 left.
"It makes me feel dominant," O'Neal said. "(My teammates) are
coming to me every time down. I feel like the old Shaq."
"I was trying to push him," Boozer said. "Pushing a wall is
what it felt like."
James had a chance to make it a one-possession game but missed
badly on a jumper with Cleveland trailing, 103-98, and 35
seconds to go.
A jumper by Ilgauskas, who had 12 points and nine boards, gave
Cleveland an 87-82 lead with 2:51 left in the fourth quarter.
But Rick Fox
made a jumper and O'Neal scored inside to make it a
O'Neal passed out of a double-team to Payton, whose 3-pointer
gave LA a 90-89 lead with 1:25 to play. James made a jumper,
but Payton tied it with a free throw.
"When you don't have your main guys in there, all you can do is
foul and hope that they miss free throws," Cavaliers coach Paul
Silas said. "If you double, you give them wide-open shots. I
thought Payton's play really hurt."