L.A. Lakers 100, Golden State 99
OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 18 (Ticker) -- Shaquille O'Neal
jumper at the buzzer to help the Los Angeles
Lakers overcome Gary Payton's
ejection and win their second
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"There was like one second left so I knew that he was either
going to get it and jump into me or try to shoot it," O'Neal
O'Neal and Kobe Bryant
scored 40 of the Lakers' 48 second-half
points in a 100-99 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Payton and Warriors guard Speedy Claxton
were ejected with 6:54
left in the third after getting into an altercation. The
incident occurred after Claxton picked up a foul while trying to
steal the ball from Payton.
The two collided after the whistle and Payton became enraged,
pushing Claxton onto the scorer's table. It took several
players and officials to separate the two as Payton was dragged
to the floor by two referees during the scrum.
"He wasn't having as good a game as he wanted to have, so he got
frustrated out there," Claxton said. "I had the extra step.
There was no cause for the ejection. There were no punches and
no cause to eject us."
"I thought Gary was frustrated most of the game because he
couldn't keep Speedy in front of him and was trying to do
everything he could," Robinson said. "You could tell just by
watching him he wasn't pleased."
With Payton gone, Los Angeles looked more like the Lakers of
last season. Bryant scored 24 of his 35 points in the second
half and O'Neal finished with 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven
assists and five blocks.
"I'm starting to get my stuff back," O'Neal said. "I'm starting
to get my legs and my footing."
"I think we're putting more energy behind it, I think our effort
has increased," Bryant said. "Defensively, we're making key
stops. Offensively, we're not executing as well as we should be
or as capable of but it's better than it was."
Both made costly mistakes in the final minute that nearly cost
the Lakers the game. O'Neal missed two free throws with 1:03
remaining and the Lakers nursing a one-point lead. Los Angeles
stopped Golden State on the ensuing possession, but Bryant was
called for traveling with 19 seconds remaining.
However, the Warriors could not capitalize on the miscues. Nick Van Exel
missed a floater in the lane and Kareem Rush
fouled with 3.9 seconds left.
Rush missed both free throws, but O'Neal grabbed the rebound.
Perhaps concerned that he would be fouled, O'Neal put up a quick
shot that missed everything. Bryant rebounded but stepped out
of bounds with 1.3 seconds to go.
"This is what you have to do on the road," Lakers coach Phil
Jackson said. "I mean you have to find a way to win games that
scored 25 points and Robinson added 22 for the
Warriors, who had their two-game winning streak snapped.