Sunday , Dec , 26 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – December 26

=== Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – December 26 ===

(Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Miami Heat, 104-102, in
overtime in the much-anticipated Christmas Day showdown at Staples Center.

The game marked the return of Shaquille O’Neal to Los Angeles, where he played
against Kobe Bryant for the first time. O’Neal spent eight seasons with the
Lakers and captured three NBA championships alongside Bryant.

However, despite that success, the two players were unable to establish a
long-lasting relationship and O’Neal was eventually traded to the Heat in
exchange for Lamar Odom, Brian Grant, Caron Butler and a first-round draft
pick. Butler missed the game due to a one-game suspension for punching New
Orleans guard Dan Dickau on Wednesday.

Bryant poured in a season-high 42 points and also handed out six assists for
the Lakers, who fell to 1-3 on their current six-game homestand. Odom
contributed 24 points and 11 boards, while Chris Mihm chipped in 11 points and
14 rebounds for Los Angeles.

The Lakers are off until Tuesday when they host the Toronto Raptors. It is the
first of two meetings this season between the teams this season. The teams
will play once again on February 27, 2005 at Air Canada Centre.