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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DALLAS 19 18 26 34 97 LA LAKERS 23 24 24 28 99 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 25, MICHAEL FINLEY 22, HOWARD EISLEY 14 LAL - KOBE BRYANT 38, SHAQUILLE ONEAL 25, ISAIAH RIDER 11

HIGH REBOUND: DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 11, LOY VAUGHT 5 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 14, KOBE BRYANT 10

HIGH ASSISTS: DAL - HOWARD EISLEY 10, MICHAEL FINLEY 5 LAL - KOBE BRYANT 6, SHAQUILLE ONEAL 3

ATT: 18,997


Extended Box

DALLAS (97) AT LA LAKERS (99)

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

FINLEY F 44 11-19 0-0 1 1 2 5 1 0 1 22 NOWITZKI F 38 9-16 5-6 1 10 11 1 1 0 5 25 LAETTNER C 20 4-7 0-0 1 1 2 0 3 0 2 8 ALEXANDER G 35 6-15 0-0 1 2 3 2 5 1 0 12 QR*e G 46 6-14 2-3 1 1 2 10 6 4 1 14 BUCKNER 24 3-6 2-2 2 0 2 1 6 0 2 8 BRADLEY 15 2-4 0-0 1 3 4 0 3 1 0 4 VAUGHT 13 2-5 0-0 1 4 5 2 2 0 0 4 BRYANT 5 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 4 0 0 0 DAVIS DNP - GROIN PULL NAJERA DNP - COACH'S DECISION NASH DNP - STRAINED RIGHT CALF

TOTALS 240 43-86 9-11 9 23 32 21 31 6 11 97 (.500) (.818) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 12(20 PTS)

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

FOX F 21 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 5 GRANT F 23 1-4 2-2 3 2 5 1 3 1 1 4 ONEAL C 38 10-19 5-19 7 7 14 3 5 0 2 25 BRYANT G 45 15-28 7-9 4 6 10 6 4 2 6 38 HARPER G 31 4-11 0-0 4 5 9 1 3 0 1 8 HORRY 32 0-4 2-2 3 3 6 2 3 1 1 2 RIDER 26 3-9 4-4 0 2 2 2 2 1 1 11 SHAW 17 1-3 1-1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 PENBERTHY 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 FOSTER 3 1-1 1-2 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 3 GEORGE 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MADSEN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 37-84 22-39 21 30 51 18 22 7 15 99 (.440) (.564) TEAM REBS: 16 TOTAL TO: 15(14 PTS)

DALLAS 19 18 26 34 - 97 LA LAKERS 23 24 24 28 - 99

BLOCKED SHOTS: DALLAS - NOWITZKI 3, BRADLEY. LA LAKERS - BRYANT 2, HORRY 2, ONEAL, HARPER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DALLAS 2-11 (.182), FINLEY 0-1, NOWITZKI 2-6, ALEXANDER 0-1, EISLEY 0-3. LA LAKERS 3-10 (.300), FOX 1-1, BRYANT 1-3, HARPER 0-1, HORRY 0-1, RIDER 1-3, SHAW 0-1. TECHNICALS: LA LAKERS - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2. OFFICIALS: ED F RUSH, MIKE CALLAHAN, COURTNEY KIRKLAND. A - 18,997. T - 2:23.


Box Score

DALLAS (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Finley 44 11-19 0-0 1-2 5 1 22 Nowitzki 38 9-16 5-6 1-11 1 1 25 Laettner 20 4-7 0-0 1-2 0 3 8 Alexander 35 6-15 0-0 1-3 2 5 12 Eisley 46 6-14 2-3 1-2 10 6 14 Buckner 24 3-6 2-2 2-2 1 6 8 Bradley 15 2-4 0-0 1-4 0 3 4 Vaught 13 2-5 0-0 1-5 2 2 4 Bryant 5 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 4 0 Davis DNP - groin pull Najera DNP - coach's decision Nash DNP - strained right calf _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 43-86 9-11 9-32 21 31 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.818. 3-Point Goals: 2-11, .182 (Finley 0-1, Nowitzki 2-6, Alexander 0-1, Eisley 0-3). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 4 (Nowitzki 3, Bradley). Turnovers: 12 (Nowitzki 5, Buckner 2, Laettner 2, Eisley, Finley). Steals: 6 (Eisley 4, Alexander, Bradley).

LA LAKERS (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Fox j j j j Grant 23 1-4 2-2 3-5 1 3 4 Oneal 38 10-19 5-19 7-14 3 5 25 Bryant 45 15-28 7-9 4-10 6 4 38 Harper 31 4-11 0-0 4-9 1 3 8 Horry 32 0-4 2-2 3-6 2 3 2 Rider 26 3-9 4-4 0-2 2 2 11 Shaw 17 1-3 1-1 0-1 1 1 3 Penberthy 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Foster 3 1-1 1-2 0-3 1 0 3 George 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Madsen DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-84 22-39 21-51 18 22 99 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.440, FT-.564. 3-Point Goals: 3-10, .300 (Fox 1-1, Bryant 1-3, Harper 0-1, Horry 0-1, Rider 1-3, Shaw 0-1). Team rebounds: 16. Blocked shots: 6 (Bryant 2, Horry 2, Oneal, Harper). Turnovers: 15 (Bryant 6, Oneal 2, Fox, Grant, Harper, Horry, Penberthy, Rider, Shaw). Steals: 7 (Bryant 2, Grant, Horry, Penberthy, Rider, Shaw). ____________________________________________ Dallas 19 18 26 34 - 97 La Lakers 23 24 24 28 - 99 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: La Lakers 2 (Illegal Defense 2, 2:33 3rd, 7:15 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,997. T: 2:23. Officials: Ed F Rush, Mike Callahan, Courtney Kirkland.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Unable to employ the "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy, the Dallas Mavericks could not come up with a proper plan of their own.

Greg Buckner and rookie Courtney Alexander made bonehead plays in the final 35 seconds, allowing the Los Angeles Lakers to get away with a 99-97 victory, their 20th straight at home in the all-time series.

Kobe Bryant had another big game with 38 points for the Lakers. He had to carry much of the offensive load himself as O'Neal, the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, was yanked with 5:20 to play after missing 12 of his first 17 free throws.

O'Neal finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds. He returned only briefly, missing two more foul shots with 1:36 to play, leaving Los Angeles with an 89-88 lead.

"I haven't seen Shaq that inadequate from the line this season," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said. "But we survived it and we'll go on from there. We knew that ("Hack-a-Shaq") was their policy and that meant that they would start getting possessions if he wasn't in the rhythm at the free throw line, and we had to try and save some kind of offensive presence out there."

But it was Dallas that missed the opportunities that mattered most. After Michael Finley made a jumper to cut the deficit to 93-90 with 37 seconds left, Mavericks coach Don Nelson wanted his team to play defense. But Buckner fouled Bryant, who made both free throws to rebuild the lead to five points.

After a timeout, Alexander quickly drove for a layup and this time, Dallas dug in. Mavs swarmed Bryant in the frontcourt and Alexander stripped him with 12 seconds left.

Dallas needed a 3-pointer to tie but the rookie drove against three defenders. He missed badly on a layup and Robert Horry rebounded and was fouled with 6.2 seconds to go. He made both free throws and, after Dirk Nowitzki hit a jumper, Isaiah Rider sank two more foul shots to seal it.

"We weren't looking to foul in that situation," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "We needed a stop. We needed to make them go to the basket. There are two ways to make three points. One is making the layup and getting the foul and the other is with a 3-pointer. But Alexander is a rookie. He probably should have pulled it back and looked for the 3-pointer."

"I think Courtney thought he had a clear path to the basket and if he scored there we still had a chance to foul," Mavericks guard Howard Eisley said. "You never know if they're going to make their free throws and what could happen. If we could have scored the two, then we would have only been down by one."

Rider scored 11 points for the Lakers, who have won 10 of their last 12 games. They have not lost at home to the Mavs since December 12, 1990, when Bryant and Nowitzki were 12 years old.

Nowitzki had 25 points and 11 rebounds and Finley scored 22 points for Dallas, which has lost two in a row and dropped to 6-4 on the road.

"We played our hearts out and played a great game, and really showed a lot of intestinal fortitude in the fourth quarter," Nelson said. "I would like the league to evaluate this game film and give us an explanation why every break was given to the Lakers in the fourth quarter. I'm not a complainer, very seldom do I complain, but anybody who watched this game tonight could see for themselves."

Bryant and O'Neal powered the Lakers to a 71-63 advantage after three quarters and O'Neal's dunk made it 83-71 with 6:42 left. But Dallas fouled him on the next possession and the big guy obliged by missing both free throws.

Eisley and Shawn Bradley made baskets to cut the deficit to eight points and O'Neal missed two more from the line before sitting down. He has made just 39 percent (74-of-190) of his free throws this season.

"I just try to go to the line and concentrate a little more," O'Neal said. "It almost worked for me tonight, and my teammates stepped up for me tonight. They played without me and won the game."

Nowitzki made consecutive baskets and added a free throw and Buckner sank a jumper to make it 83-82 with 3:13 to play.

The teams traded points until Bryant hit a jumper for a 91Kj lead with 1:14 remaining. He added a nifty underhand layup to make it a five-point game with 41 seconds to go.

Bryant is averaging 32 points over his last seven games. He scored a career-high 43 in Friday's win over San Antonio.

"We have been able to read defenses pretty well," Bryant said. "(Teams) haven't been able to play Shaq and me. We have been able to attack in game situation, so we have been reading really well."

The All-Star guard also collected 10 rebounds and six assists for the Lakers, who shot 44 percent (37-of-84) from the field and held a 51-32 advantage on the boards.

Eisley had 14 points and 10 assists and Alexander scored 10 points for the Mavericks, who shot 50 percent (43-of-86) but attempted just 11 free throws, making nine. Los Angeles was 22-of-39 from the line.

Dallas played without injured guards Steve Nash (strained right calf) and Hubert Davis (groin pull).

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