Friday , Dec , 05 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – December 5

=== Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – December 5 ===

(Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant poured in a game-high 32 points to lead the
red-hot Los Angeles Lakers to a 114-103 win over the Dallas Mavericks on
Thursday at American Airlines Center.

Shaquille O’Neal posted 25 points, hauled in 19 rebounds and handed out five
assists for the Lakers, who have won eight straight games and improved their
league-best record to 16-3.

Gary Payton chipped in 17 points and eight assists for Los Angeles, which
never trailed in the game and has defeated the Mavericks five straight times
overall.

Los Angeles jumped out to a 14-2 lead on Bryant’s basket with just over seven
minutes left in the first quarter and the lead rose to 17 points at 23-8 on
O’Neal’s dunk moments later. However, Dallas fought back and trimmed the
deficit to 31-20 after one period.

In the second, Stanislav Medvedenko’s jumper stretched the Lakers edge to
40-25 with just over eight minutes left in the quarter. The Mavericks then
used an 11-4 spurt, highlighted by nine from Steve Nash, to close within
44-36.

Los Angeles went into the locker room with a 51-42 lead.

The Lakers, who led 60-50 early in the third quarter, ran off seven straight
points to seize a commanding 17-point edge. The margin grew to 18 later in the
frame and the LA led 82-72 after three periods.

The Mavericks closed within eight points at 104-96 with just over two minutes
remaining in the game, but could not get any closer.

Los Angeles also defeated the Mavericks, 109-93, on opening night at the
Staples Center.

The Lakers are off until Sunday when they host the Utah Jazz.

LAL