Friday , Nov , 28 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Lakers host Duncan and Spurs

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – The Lakers aim for their fifth straight
victory overall and can tie a Los Angeles era record with their 24th straight
home win, as they tangle with the San Antonio Spurs tonight.

The Lakers hope to have superstar center Shaquille O’Neal back in the lineup
tonight. He has missed the last two games with a strained right calf.

Tonight also marks the second meeting this season between these heated Western
Conference rivals. The Lakers won 120-117 in double overtime on November 6 in
San Antonio in the first game since the clubs met in the Western Conference
semifinals. Los Angeles outscored the Spurs 31-4 in second chance points and
outrebounded the Spurs 66-47 overall. Kobe Bryant led all scores with 37
points, as O’Neal tallied a double-double with 35 points and 20 rebounds. Karl
Malone poured in 15 points while grabbing 19 rebounds.

That night the Lakers took advantage of an injured Tim Duncan and Tony Parker,
torching San Antonio in the points in the paint category, 70-34. However, if
O’Neal cannot play tonight, those stats could heavily favor the Spurs. In the
first meeting this season Manu Ginobili reached career highs in points (33),
rebounds (12) and minutes (45), falling just shy of a triple double by three
assists for San Antonio.

The Lakers, who are 8-0 at Staples Center this season, haven’t lost a regular
season home game since February 16 to the New York Knicks. Currently, the
Lakers have the third longest string of consecutive home victories in
franchise history. Dating back to when the team was in Minneapolis, the Lakers
won 30 straight home games over the span of two seasons (1949-50 to 1950-51).
Since the team has been in Los Angeles, the most consecutive home victories
recorded by the Lakers is 24 (1987-88 to 1988-89).

The Lakers are coming off a 120-99 home win over Washington Wednesday night.
Los Angeles placed with players in double figure scoring for the first time
since the 1997-98 season. Bryant led a balanced scoring attack with 22 points
while Devean George poured in a season-high 18 points.

The defending NBA champion Spurs start a three-game road trip and will try for
their third straight win overall. San Antonio beat Chicago 109-98 Wednesday
night. Ginobili finished with a team-high 17 points and 11 rebounds, while
Duncan added 16 points and 10 rebounds and Parker contributed 15 points.

The Spurs have still won four of five and five of the last seven regular
season meetings. However, San Antonio has lost seven of its last 11 road games
versus the Lakers.

The Spurs are 2-4 on the road this season.

This season, the Lakers are 10-0 when holding their opponent under 100 points.
When scoring 100 or more points, Los Angeles is 8-0.