Saturday , Feb , 28 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Kobe’s triple-double too much for Wizards

=== Kobe’s triple-double too much for Wizards ===

Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant posted his first triple-double
in more than a year, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 122-110 win over the
Washington Wizards at the MCI Center.

Bryant had 25 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for the Lakers, who rebounded
from Thursday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings. Bryant registered his first
triple-double since January 10, 2003.

Shaquille O’Neal added 29 points as Los Angeles improved to 6-1 in its last
seven games. Stanislav Medvedenko and Kareem Rush had 14 points apiece in a
winning cause.

Gilbert Arenas netted a game-high 35 points for Washington and buried a
career-high 8-of-11 three-pointers. Arenas also had nine rebounds and four
assists for the Wizards, who had their two-game winning streak halted.

Jerry Stackhouse had 20 points and Kwame Brown chipped in 18 points and 10
rebounds in the loss.

The lead exchanged hands several times in the first quarter until Washington
grabbed some breathing room at 15-12 on a Brendan Haywood basket. The Lakers
later took a 26-22 advantage on a Bryant three-point play and carried a 30-28
edge into the second quarter.

Derek Fisher buried a three-pointer and made 1-of-2 from the foul line in
succession to push LA’s lead to 42-34 almost four minutes into the second
quarter. An O’Neal basket with about four minutes to go staked the Lakers to a
50-38 lead, and LA headed to the break with a 58-49 cushion.

Bryant led all scorers at halftime with 15 points, while Arenas paced the
Wizards with 13 points.

Arenas’ fifth three-pointer of the game pulled Washington within 74-64 midway
through the third quarter. He hit another three-pointer to make it 80-75 with
less than three minutes remaining. The Wizards had a solid quarter and cut the
lead to 88-83 after 36 minutes of action.

Brown was sent to the line for the Wizards at 9:58 of the fourth quarter and
made 1-of-2 shots to make it 88-85. A driving layup by Arenas and two free
throws by Jared Jeffries pulled Washington within one at 94-93 with 7:29 left.

Los Angeles never let the Wizards get any closer and captured its third
straight win versus Washington. The Lakers also have won nine of the last 11
meetings with the Wizards.