O'Neal limited to five rebounds

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Late in the fourth quarter, Kobe Bryant
curled around Shaquille O'Neal and reached for the ball. O'Neal
hesitated -- and then bounced it off Bryant's head for a turnover.

The Lakers' superstars were flustered and flailing, and the
Golden State Warriors' defense deserved the credit in a 107-98
victory on Tuesday night.

Clifford Robinson scored a season-high 24 points, and Erick
Dampier had 17 points and 11 rebounds while outmuscling O'Neal in
the low post. After outscoring Los Angeles 38-15 in the second
quarter, Golden State took a 21-point lead in the third and never
lost it.

Though they scored at will for long stretches, the Warriors
credited the win to their impressive defense on O'Neal, who had
just 21 points and five rebounds, and Bryant, who was nearly
invisible until the fourth.

"That's the kind of game we're capable of playing when
everybody gives everything they have," Robinson said. "We've been
searching for that for about 26 games now. Hopefully we can embrace
what we put out on the floor tonight."

Speedy Claxton had 19 points for the Warriors, whose lead
dwindled to eight on Bryant's 3-pointer with 1:48 left. But
Robinson made an off-balance jumper as the shot clock ran down, and
the Warriors made their free throws down the stretch to seal their
third home win over the Lakers in five games.

Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson was unimpressed with his team,
which played without injured Karl Malone.

"We were a flat team today," Jackson said. "We got it under
10, then flattened out. I have to question the conditioning of the
players. ... We can't put this on Karl. If he were here, he'd put
some fight in this team."

The Lakers have lost three of five following a 10-game winning
streak. Sacramento's 114-97 victory over Memphis allowed the Kings
to pull even with the Lakers atop the Pacific Division and the
overall NBA standings at 20-6.

"It's just us breaking down on defense and not helping each
other," O'Neal said. "We're not playing smart basketball. There's
a lot of anger in this locker room. We have to fight through this
and fix it. ... They outhustled us, outplayed us and outscored us.
They played a little harder than we did, and a whole lot smarter."

Malone missed just the 12th game of his 19-season NBA career
with a sprained knee ligament. Stanislav Medvedenko had 12 points
in Malone's spot in the starting lineup, but the Lakers couldn't
overcome 12-of-25 free-throw shooting despite making six 3-pointers
in the fourth quarter.

With both teams wearing uniforms from the 1960s in front of the
biggest crowd in the arena's history, the Warriors rebounded from
consecutive road losses to lowly Miami and Orlando with an
impressive win over the NBA's best team.

Dampier had another strong game in his resurgent season, winning
most of his battles with O'Neal in the low post while making seven
of eight shots. Troy Murphy added eight points, 13 rebounds and
plenty of defensive help on Shaq in his most extensive action since
returning from the injured list last week.

"(O'Neal) is the best in the league, so you just go out and
play hard and see what happens," Dampier said. "I just tried to
put him in positions where he's not accustomed to taking a shot."

Bryant had a breathtaking behind-the-head alley-oop dunk among
his 23 points, but he didn't play aggressively on offense for long
stretches. He came alive in the fourth, hitting three 3-pointers
while scoring 13 points.

Devean George also had three 3-pointers, but Golden State made
12 of 13 free throws down the stretch.

"We know we have to make improvements, but that's what we've
been saying all along," Bryant said. "It's not going to be smooth
sailing for us. We have to have patience. It's a long season. We're
in it for the ultimate goal."

The Warriors took charge with a 17-3 run in the final 5{ minutes
of the first half. Claxton scored eight points in the rally, and
Robinson hit a desperate 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left to give
Golden State a 61-46 halftime lead. The Warriors have fared well recently in their meetings with
their downstate rivals, and their fans knew it. Though a large
segment of the 20,310 fans supported the Lakers, Golden State had
one of its loudest crowds in years.

Game notes
Lakers PG Gary Payton had a season-high 13 assists. ...
Before the game, Los Angeles activated rookie forward Brian Cook
and put guard Jannero Pargo on the injured list. Cook hasn't played
this season after breaking a finger during the preseason. Cook
didn't play. ... Golden State wore its yellow "The City" uniforms
from the 1966-67 season, and the Lakers wore blue togs with "Los
Angeles" in script across the chest from one of their first
seasons in California.


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