Lakers remain undefeated at home; Shaq exits early
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 28 points to
lead the Los Angeles Lakers over the Chicago Bulls, 101-94, at the Staples
Gary Payton added 15 points for the Lakers, who have won five of their last
six games. Shaquille O’Neal also netted 15 points before leaving the game with
a strained calf, but the Lakers still improved to 6-0 at home this season
despite the departure of their superstar.
Jamal Crawford posted 23 points for the Bulls, who dropped their fourth
straight game amidst trade rumors. The Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors are
reportedly close to a trade that would send swingman Jalen Rose to Toronto. In
exchange, Chicago would acquire forward Jerome Williams, guard Alvin Williams
and guard/forward Morris Peterson.
A Chicago radio station is reporting that the deal could also include forward
Donyell Marshall going to the Raptors with Toronto center Antonio Davis going
to the Bulls.
The Lakers posted a game-deciding 10-0 run in the fourth quarter and they led
the rest of the way. Bryon Russell capped off the burst with a three-pointer
and the Lakers led 86-80 with 7:05 to play.
The Bulls then recorded four quick points and cut the deficit to 86-84 on a
Scottie Pippen basket.
But the Lakers rattled off six unanswered points to end the threat.
The Lakers led 27-21 after the opening frame, but trailed 55-44 at the
intermission after allowing 34 points in the second quarter.
The Lakers have won 21 straight regular games at the Staples Center dating
back to last season.