L.A. Lakers 116, Philadelphia 88
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20 (Ticker) --
The All-Star Game was just a tune-up
for the dominant return of the Los Angeles Lakers' tandem of
and Kobe Bryant
NBA TV highlights from|
O'Neal collected 29 points and 13 rebounds and Bryant scored 28
points and handed out seven assists as the Lakers rolled to a
116-88 rout of the Philadelphia 76ers.
O'Neal was named the MVP of Sunday's All-Star Game after posting
24 points and 11 rebounds. He could have shared the award with
Bryant, who scored 20 points in 36 minutes.
The duo has been unstoppable since the break, with O'Neal
averaging 27 points and 13.3 rebounds and Bryant posting 31.7
points, 8.3 assists and 6.3 rebounds in three games.
"We looked at each other (during the break)," O'Neal said. "We
know we need to turn it up and we know how to get it done."
"I don't know if we are more in sync now than we were at the
beginning of the year," Bryant said. "We don't have all the
pieces of the puzzle."
O'Neal was unstoppable in the second quarter, scoring 16 points
of Los Angeles' 32 points. He scored five points during a 17-6
burst the Lakers used to open the period for a 44-27 lead.
The Sixers pulled within 59-51 at halftime, but O'Neal helped
the Lakers take control for good in the third quarter with seven
points, four rebounds and two assists.
Los Angeles made 11-of-19 shots while holding Philadelphia to
7-of-19 from the floor in the period and had an 87-70 cushion
heading into the fourth quarter.
scored seven of his 11 points in the third and Gary Payton
finished with 13 points and six assists as Los Angeles
cruised to its sixth win in seven games, despite playing most of
the fourth quarter without O'Neal and Bryant.
The Lakers posted their highest score of the season by
dominating inside as they scored 61 points in the paint and held
a 52-37 rebounding advantage.
"We went out and played pretty good basketball," O'Neal said.
"We need this win. We just want to take care of business on our
end and pick it up before we get into the playoffs."
had 22 points and 12 rebounds and Glenn Robinson
scored 19 points for the Sixers, who shot 40 percent (31-of-76)
from the floor and lost for the 13th time in 18 games.
All-Star Allen Iverson
was held to 16 points on 3-of-18 shooting
as Philadelphia fell to 2-2 under interim coach Chris Ford.