Monday , Jan , 16 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Lakers are on the move

(Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers are three games above .500 (20-17)
and are 4 1/2 games behind the division-leading Phoenix Suns in the Pacific.

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal will meet for the second and final time in
the 2005-06 campaign, as the Lakers welcome the Miami Heat on Monday to the
Staples Center.

On Christmas Day, O’Neal registered 18 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Heat
to a 97-92 victory over Bryant and the Lakers at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Bryant has a strong game in defeat as he led all scorers with 37 points.

The Heat, who played their first season in the NBA in the 1988-89 campaign,
made their most significant trade in franchise history during the 2004 summer
when they acquired O’Neal from the Lakers on July 14th in exchange for
forwards Lamar Odom, Brian Grant, who is now a member of the Phoenix Suns,
Caron Butler, who was dealt to Washington this past offseason, and a first-
round draft pick. Together O’Neal and Bryant won three championships with Los
Angeles. Shaq spent eight seasons with Bryant and the Lakers.

The Lakers enter Monday’s contest on a two-game winning streak. On Saturday,
Bryant poured in 38 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out seven
assists, as Los Angeles defeated the Golden State Warriors, 110-104, at The
Arena in Oakland.

Smush Parker finished with 24 points, 12 boards and six assists in the win
over the Warriors for Los Angeles, which has won five of its last six games
overall. Kwame Brown notched a double-double with 18 points and 12 boards,
while Chris Mihm scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds in the victory.

Bryant has scored over 30 points in eight of his last nine contests and has
netted more than 20 in 17 straight games. The seven-time All-Star is averaging
34.2 points per game this season for the Lakers

LA is 9-8 as the host this season. After Monday’s game, the Lakers will hit
the road for a pair of games against Sacramento and Phoenix. They will play
the Kings on Thursday and the Suns on Friday.

The Lakers, who return home on Sunday to host Chris Bosh and the Toronto
Raptors, have scored over 100 points in four of their last six games. They are
12-3 when they score 100 points or more this season.