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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DALLAS 26 26 16 21 89 LA LAKERS 31 28 17 22 98 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 24, MICHAEL FINLEY 18, SHAWN BRADLEY 12 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 35, BRIAN SHAW 14, THREE PLAYERS WITH 12

HIGH REBOUND: DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 13, HORACE GRANT 10

HIGH ASSISTS: DAL - HOWARD EISLEY 6, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4 LAL - RICK FOX 8, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4

ATT: 18,997


Extended Box

DALLAS (89) AT LA LAKERS (98)

DALLAS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

HOWARD F 37 3-5 0-0 0 2 2 4 3 1 1 6 NOWITZKI F 40 7-13 7-12 3 6 9 3 2 2 0 24 BRADLEY C 23 6-10 0-0 0 3 3 0 4 2 0 12 FINLEY G 41 8-18 2-5 1 3 4 3 1 0 1 18 NASH G 28 5-13 0-0 0 2 2 4 1 0 5 10 BOOTH 28 5-9 0-0 1 3 4 2 5 3 0 10 EISLEY 23 3-7 0-0 0 1 1 6 1 2 1 7 BUCKNER 18 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 4 0 2 2 EKEZIE 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 NAJERA 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MAXWELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-76 9-17 5 22 27 22 21 10 10 89 (.500) (.529) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 11(10 PTS)

LA LAKERS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

FOX F 31 2-7 0-0 0 2 2 8 4 0 3 5 GRANT F 37 5-11 2-2 3 7 10 0 2 0 0 12 ONEAL C 40 11-19 13-17 3 10 13 4 4 1 5 35 SHAW G 30 6-15 0-0 4 5 9 3 1 0 1 14 FISHER G 43 5-10 0-0 0 2 2 2 0 1 3 12 MADSEN 4 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 RIDER 17 5-9 1-1 0 2 2 1 1 0 1 12 HORRY 23 2-5 0-0 3 0 3 4 1 0 0 4 GEORGE 10 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 3 1 0 3 0 PENBERTHY 5 1-1 1-1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 4 BRYANT DNP - SORE LEFT FOOT FOSTER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 37-79 17-21 14 30 44 26 16 3 16 98 (.468) (.810) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 18(19 PTS)

DALLAS 26 26 16 21 - 89 LA LAKERS 31 28 17 22 - 98

BLOCKED SHOTS: DALLAS - BOOTH 3, NOWITZKI, BRADLEY. LA LAKERS - ONEAL 2, SHAW 2, HORRY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DALLAS 4-13 (.308), NOWITZKI 3-5, FINLEY 0-3, NASH 0-2, EISLEY 1-3. LA LAKERS 7-11 (.636), FOX 1-2, SHAW 2-3, FISHER 2-3, RIDER 1-1, HORRY 0-1, PENBERTHY 1-1. TECHNICALS: DALLAS - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2, LA LAKERS - ILLEGAL DEFENSE, HORRY. OFFICIALS: BOB DELANEY, MIKE CALLAHAN, DEREK RICHARDSON. A - 18,997. T - 2:14.


Box Score

DALLAS (89) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Howard 37 3-5 0-0 0-2 4 3 6 Nowitzki 40 7-13 7-12 3-9 3 2 24 Bradley 23 6-10 0-0 0-3 0 4 12 Finley 41 8-18 2-5 1-4 3 1 18 Nash 28 5-13 0-0 0-2 4 1 10 Booth 28 5-9 0-0 1-4 2 5 10 Eisley 23 3-7 0-0 0-1 6 1 7 Buckner 18 1-1 0-0 0-2 0 4 2 Ekezie 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Najera 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Maxwell DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-76 9-17 5-27 22 21 89 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.529. 3-Point Goals: 4-13, .308 (Nowitzki 3-5, Finley 0-3, Nash 0-2, Eisley 1-3). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 5 (Booth 3, Nowitzki, Bradley). Turnovers: 11 (Nash 5, Buckner 2, Eisley, Finley, Howard). Steals: 10 (Booth 3, Bradley 2, Eisley 2, Nowitzki 2, Howard).

LA LAKERS (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Fox 31 2-7 0-0 0-2 8 4 5 Grant 37 5-11 2-2 3-10 0 2 12 Oneal 40 11-19 13-17 3-13 4 4 35 Shaw 30 6-15 0-0 4-9 3 1 14 Fisher 43 5-10 0-0 0-2 2 0 12 Madsen 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 2 0 Rider 17 5-9 1-1 0-2 1 1 12 Horry 23 2-5 0-0 3-3 4 1 4 George 10 0-1 0-0 1-2 3 1 0 Penberthy 5 1-1 1-1 0-1 0 0 4 Bryant DNP - sore left foot Foster DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-79 17-21 14-44 26 16 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.468, FT-.810. 3-Point Goals: 7-11, .636 (Fox 1-2, Shaw 2-3, Fisher 2-3, Rider 1-1, Horry 0-1, Penberthy 1-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 5 (Oneal 2, Shaw 2, Horry). Turnovers: 18 (Oneal 5, Fisher 3, Fox 3, George 3, Rider, Shaw). Steals: 3 (Fisher, Oneal, Penberthy). ____________________________________________ Dallas 26 26 16 21 - 89 La Lakers 31 28 17 22 - 98 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Dallas 2 (Illegal Defense 2, 0:59 3rd, 10:08 4th). La Lakers 2 (Illegal Defense, 8:01 2nd; Horry, 1:22 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,997. T: 2:14. Officials: Bob Delaney, Mike Callahan, Derek Richardson.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Lakers gave Shaquille O'Neal plenty of help. The Dallas Mavericks gave Shawn Bradley none.

O'Neal had 35 points and 13 rebounds and four teammates joined him in double figures as the Lakers held onto fourth place in the Western Conference with a 98-89 victory over the Mavericks.

The 7-2, 320-pound O'Neal overpowered the 7-6, 263-pound Bradley on the inside, making 11-of-19 shots. He simply was too strong for Bradley and reserve center Calvin Booth, who committed nine fouls trying to guard the NBA's reigning Most Valuable Player.

"Shaq established himself early on in the game," Lakers guard Brian Shaw said. "He did a great job softening up the middle for drives, cuts and open shots. He just dominated and opened up the floor."

"He's big, he's strong," Bradley said. "He knows how to position his body so that he can counter whatever way you decide to guard him."

The strategy of fouling O'Neal has worked in the past but not lately. A 46-percent foul shooter, he made 13-of-17 and is shooting 72 percent (71-of-99) from the line in his last seven games, foiling the "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy.

"I wasn't worried about that," O'Neal said. "I won't worry about that ever again."

"We knew we weren't going to do that," Mavs coach Don Nelson said. "We can't Hack-a-Shaq him when he's shooting 70 percent from the free-throw line."

While O'Neal was making his free throws, the Mavericks were missing theirs, going just 9-of-17. Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki had a "hat trick" as he missed all three foul shots after being fouled while shooting a 3-pointer in the final period.

Unlike Wednesday, when O'Neal was the entire offense in a 108-84 home loss to Sacramento, his teammates contributed in this one. Brian Shaw had 14 points and nine rebounds and Horace Grant had 12 and 10 as the Lakers did not miss injured All-Star guard Kobe Bryant.

"I'm proud of our guys," O'Neal said. "They hit some shots when we needed them. ... We got a lot of balance in our scoring. I'm going to kick it out when I'm double-teamed and we made those shots."

"We had much better purpose. We had some outside shooting," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, whose team shot 47 percent (37-of-79), making 7-of-11 3-pointers.

Derek Fisher and Isaiah Rider scored 12 points apiece for Los Angeles (48-25), which snapped a two-game skid and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of Dallas for fourth place in the West -- and the home court in the first round of the playoffs.

"We executed our offense better tonight and did a great job distributing the ball," Shaw said.

"We believe in ourselves," Fisher said. "It's amazing how much a good win could give us a boost of confidence."

Nowitzki scored 24 points for the Mavericks (46-26), who could have passed the Lakers with a win but instead dropped to sixth place, one game behind Portland. Dallas began a tough five-game road trip with wins at Utah and Portland and still must visit Sacramento and Houston.

The Lakers took the lead for good at 50-48 on a 3-pointer by rookie Mike Penberthy with 3:39 left in the second quarter. That began a 12-4 surge that closed the first half and gave Los Angeles a 59-52 lead.

The Mavs got no closer than six points thereafter. They made just 6-of-18 shots in the third quarter, which ended with the Lakers holding a 76-68 advantage.

"They were hot earlier in the game but then they kind of cooled off," O'Neal said.

Dallas found the range in the final period, making 10-of-15 shots. But it missed 5-of-6 free throws. Meanwhile, O'Neal scored 11 points, including 3-of-5 from the line.

Michael Finley scored 18 points for Dallas, which shot 50 percent (38-of-76).

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