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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHOENIX 22 16 14 28 80 LA LAKERS 26 26 23 31 106 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHO - RODNEY ROGERS 19, SHAWN MARION 17, VINNY DEL NEGRO 13 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 32, KOBE BRYANT 20, TWO PLAYERS WITH 10

HIGH REBOUND: PHO - SHAWN MARION 9, RODNEY ROGERS 6 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 13, DEVEAN GEORGE 9

HIGH ASSISTS: PHO - TONY DELK 5, ELLIOT PERRY 3 LAL - BRIAN SHAW 10, DEREK FISHER 6

ATT: 18,997


Extended Box

PHOENIX (80) AT LA LAKERS (106)

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

MARION F 33 6-12 5-6 3 6 9 0 0 0 1 17 ROBINSON F 23 1-10 3-4 1 0 1 0 1 0 4 5 TSAKALIDIS C 18 1-2 0-0 0 5 5 0 2 0 0 2 ELIE G 11 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 1 0 0 KIDD G 18 3-10 2-2 0 2 2 2 4 0 2 9 T DELK 31 3-15 1-2 2 0 2 5 1 0 3 7 ROGERS 27 6-9 4-4 1 5 6 2 2 2 0 19 GUGLIOTTA 8 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 DUDLEY 18 1-5 0-0 1 2 3 0 4 2 0 2 V DEL NEGRO 26 6-9 1-1 1 3 4 2 0 1 1 13 PERRY 19 2-6 0-0 1 3 4 3 1 1 2 4 SANTIAGO 8 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2

TOTALS 240 30-83 16-19 11 29 40 17 18 7 13 80 (.361) (.842) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 13(18 PTS)

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

FOX F 23 4-7 0-1 0 4 4 3 3 0 0 10 GRANT F 29 5-6 0-0 2 5 7 1 2 0 0 10 ONEAL C 34 13-20 6-10 2 11 13 2 2 1 4 32 BRYANT G 35 7-14 6-8 1 2 3 4 3 6 1 20 FISHER G 29 3-10 1-2 0 1 1 6 2 1 1 7 SHAW 23 2-3 0-0 0 4 4 10 2 0 2 4 GEORGE 25 2-8 0-0 4 5 9 4 4 0 1 4 MADSEN 20 4-7 0-0 2 4 6 2 1 0 0 8 HORRY 5 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 PENBERTHY 9 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 MEDVEDENKO 8 3-7 2-2 0 1 1 0 2 0 2 8 FOSTER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 44-84 15-23 11 37 48 32 22 10 12 106 (.524) (.652) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 14(7 PTS)

PHOENIX 22 16 14 28 - 80 LA LAKERS 26 26 23 31 - 106

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - V DEL NEGRO, SANTIAGO, DUDLEY, MARION, ROBINSON, TSAKALIDIS. LA LAKERS - GRANT 3, FOX, MADSEN, GEORGE, HORRY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 4-10 (.400), ROBINSON 0-2, KIDD 1-2, T DELK 0-2, ROGERS 3-3, PERRY 0-1. LA LAKERS 3-10 (.300), FOX 2-4, BRYANT 0-1, FISHER 0-3, GEORGE 0-1, PENBERTHY 1-1. TECHNICALS: PHOENIX - ROBINSON, DUDLEY. OFFICIALS: HUGH EVANS, MARK WUNDERLICH, SCOTT WALL. A - 18,997. T - 2:08.


Box Score

PHOENIX (80) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Marion 33 6-12 5-6 3-9 0 0 17 Robinson 23 1-10 3-4 1-1 0 1 5 Tsakalidis 18 1-2 0-0 0-5 0 2 2 Elie 11 0-1 0-0 1-2 1 2 0 Kidd 18 3-10 2-2 0-2 2 4 9 T Delk 31 3-15 1-2 2-2 5 1 7 Rogers 27 6-9 4-4 1-6 2 2 19 Gugliotta 8 0-3 0-0 0-2 1 1 0 Dudley 18 1-5 0-0 1-3 0 4 2 V Del Negro 26 6-9 1-1 1-4 2 0 13 Perry 19 2-6 0-0 1-4 3 1 4 Santiago 8 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 2 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-83 16-19 11-40 17 18 80 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.361, FT-.842. 3-Point Goals: 4-10, .400 (Robinson 0-2, Kidd 1-2, T Delk 0-2, Rogers 3-3, Perry 0-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 6 (V Del Negro, Santiago, Dudley, Marion, Robinson, Tsakalidis). Turnovers: 13 (Robinson 4, T Delk 3, Kidd 2, Perry 2, Marion, V Del Negro). Steals: 7 (Dudley 2, Rogers 2, Elie, Perry, V Del Negro).

LA LAKERS (106) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Fox 23 4-7 0-1 0-4 3 3 10 Grant 29 5-6 0-0 2-7 1 2 10 Oneal 34 13-20 6-10 2-13 2 2 32 Bryant 35 7-14 6-8 1-3 4 3 20 Fisher 29 3-10 1-2 0-1 6 2 7 Shaw 23 2-3 0-0 0-4 10 2 4 George 25 2-8 0-0 4-9 4 4 4 Madsen 20 4-7 0-0 2-6 2 1 8 Horry 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Penberthy 9 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 3 Medvedenko 8 3-7 2-2 0-1 0 2 8 Foster DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 44-84 15-23 11-48 32 22 106 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.524, FT-.652. 3-Point Goals: 3-10, .300 (Fox 2-4, Bryant 0-1, Fisher 0-3, George 0-1, Penberthy 1-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 7 (Grant 3, Fox, Madsen, George, Horry). Turnovers: 14 (Oneal 4, Medvedenko 2, Shaw 2, Bryant, Fisher, George, Horry). Steals: 10 (Bryant 6, Penberthy 2, Fisher, Oneal). ____________________________________________ Phoenix 22 16 14 28 - 80 La Lakers 26 26 23 31 - 106 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Phoenix 2 (Robinson, 2:17 1st; Dudley, 10:36 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,997. T: 2:08. Officials: Hugh Evans, Mark Wunderlich, Scott Wall.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant is back and so are the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bryant made a triumphant return with 20 points and Shaquille O'Neal had his customary huge game as the Lakers routed the Phoenix Suns, 106-80, for their fifth straight victory.

Bryant had missed the last four games and nine of 10 with a sore left foot. The only game he played was a nationally televised contest against the New York Knicks in which he left after one quarter.

The Lakers lost four of the first six in that stretch, including the game Bryant played. Bryant joined them on a four-game road trip but did not suit up. Nevertheless, the Lakers won all four to make a late push for the Pacific Division title.

"It was fun to come back," Bryant said. "I felt like a kid and I was sick and couldn't go out and play."

There has been some tension between Bryant and O'Neal, who led the Lakers to the NBA championship last season but have feuded over control of the team this season. However, none of that was evident in this one as Los Angeles looked ready to defend its title.

"I kind of came into this game expecting not to expect," Bryant said. "I just cleared my mind."

"Now if we can develop some consistency, then we have a better shot at doing what we did last year," O'Neal said.

Bryant started and played 35 minutes. The All-Star guard made 7-of-14 shots and had six steals, all in the first half.

"We didn't give them any place to go," Bryant said. "That made it very easy to read the next pass. That's what I was doing."

Bryant also entirely shut down Suns All-Star guard Jason Kidd, who had nine points and two assists in 18 minutes.

"Before the game Kobe came to me and said he felt as close to 100 percent as he has since he had his first sprain," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

"Phil and I talked briefly about who he was going to match me up with to start the game," Bryant said. "We both agreed Kidd would be the ultimate test because of how fast he pushes the ball."

However, the best test for Bryant's ankle came in the first quarter, when he soared high for a lob pass from Brian Shaw and dunked it home.

"I turned it up one gear; it felt good," Bryant said. "I turned it up another gear; it felt better. Then I just busted out into a full-out sprint and got up to the rim."

Bryant received treatment afterward and said he was sore but was cryptic about how the injury still bothers him.

"(It bothered me) on a couple of moves here and there," he said. "I'm not going to say which ones because I don't know if Minnesota (Los Angeles' next opponent) reads the newspapers. On a couple of moves I felt a little pain but that will go away once the conditioning comes back."

O'Neal continued his late push for consideration for a second straight Most Valuable Player award. He scored 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds in just 34 minutes. In the last 11 games, O'Neal is averaging 33.1 points and 12.6 rebounds.

"I thought everybody played a great game," O'Neal said. "The ball moved well, Kobe had a good game, everybody was involved and aggressive on defense. I'm proud of my teammates."

Rick Fox and Horace Grant scored 10 points each and Brian Shaw handed out 10 assists for the Lakers, who shot 52 percent (44-of-84) and held a 48-40 rebounding advantage.

The Lakers remained one game behind Sacramento atop the Pacific Division and one game in front of fourth-place Utah in the Western Conference standings.

Rodney Rogers scored 19 points and Shawn Marion added 17 for the Suns, who had their lead over eighth-place Minnesota in the West cut to one game.

"We were weak-minded tonight," Kidd said. "You have to give them a lot of credit. They're getting ready for the big dance. They've got a crown to defend. They came out right off the bat physical on defense and they let us know they were here and we didn't respond."

Bryant scored 12 points in the first quarter as Los Angeles raced to a 26-22 lead. O'Neal had the first seven points of a 9-2 run that began the second period and allowed the Lakers to open a 52-38 halftime advantage.

Any chance the Suns had of getting back in it ended when they went scoreless for the first 4:41 of the third quarter. Fox had five points and O'Neal capped a 12-0 surge with a foul shot that made it 64-38.

Los Angeles led by 31 points in the fourth quarter.

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