Saturday , Mar , 06 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – March 6

=== Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – March 6 ===

(Sports Network) – Shaquille O’Neal finished with 32 points, eight rebounds
and six assists to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 99-91 win over the Seattle
SuperSonics on Friday at the Staples Center.

Gary Payton contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the
Lakers, who won their second straight and for the fourth time in five games.
Los Angeles played most of the game without All-Star guard Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, who injured his shoulder less than a minute into the game when he
collided with Seattle forward Reggie Evans, was taken to Centinela Hospital to
undergo an MRI.

Kareem Rush scored 11 points for Los Angeles, which scored five straight
points to snap an 88-88 tie. O’Neal’s foul shot with 2:14 left in the fourth
quarter to put the team ahead for good. Rush hit a three-pointer 42 seconds
later before O’Neal capped the surge with a foul shot in the final minute.

Seattle pulled within 93-90 on two foul shots by Murray with 23.4 seconds to
play, but no closer.

The Lakers have won five straight at home against Seattle. Los Angeles
improved to 23-5 at home this season.

O’Neal has scored in double digits in 19 straight games. He has averaged 30
points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocks in his last two contests.

LA is off until Sunday when it hosts the New Jersey Nets. Earlier this season,
the Lakers defeated the Nets, 100-83, at Continental Airlines Arena.