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Lakers Cruise By Celtics

Shaquille O'Neal scored 28 points as the Los Angeles Lakers built their winning streak to 10 games with a 109-96 romp over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

Getting the majority of his points on dunks over centers Vitaly Potapenko or Tony Battie both some three inches shorter than the Lakers star O'Neal was 13-of-20 from the floor and also had 15 rebounds and six assists.

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Game Summary

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  • Glen Rice added 20 points and Kobe Bryant had 17, including several spectacular dunks for the Lakers, who never trailed and were in control virtually all the way.

    Antoine Walker led Boston with 25 points and Paul Pierce added 19.

    The streak is the Lakers' third of note this season. They won 16 in a row from Dec. 11-Jan 12, and seven straight from Nov. 24-Dec. 7.

    This is the fourth time in franchise history that they have had two double-digit winning streaks during a season. It also happened in 1987-88 (16 and 11); 1986-87 (11 and 12) and 1972-73 (13 and 11).

    Rice scored 12 of his points in the opening quarter as Los Angeles quickly took command and built a 30-17 pad by the end of the period.

    The Celtics, who are 6-23 on the road, trailed by 10 or more the rest of the way. They did narrow the gap to 53-43 on Pierce's two free throws in the opening minute of the third quarter, but Los Angeles pulled away with a 13-4 run over the next five minutes.

    The Lakers' biggest lead was 22, at 46-24 midway through the second quarter.

    LoAngeles led 53-41 at the half and 84-66 heading into the final period.


  • Boston guard Dana Barros was placed on the injured list Friday because of back spasms, and the Celtics activated guard Doug Overton.
  • The Lakers began their current winning streak a game after their worst loss of the season, a 105-81 defeat in San Antonio on Feb. 1.
  • Los Angeles is 8-0 against Atlantic Division teams.
  • The Celtics did not play in Los Angeles last season because of the shortened schedule. They beat the Lakers 108-102 on Dec. 28, 1997, their last trip out, when the Lakers were still at the Forum.

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