Lakers 99, Spurs 75
SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Shaquille O’Neal had 28 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a fight-marred 99-75 victory over the cold-shooting San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.
With the Lakers leading handily in the fourth quarter, the game was halted twice in less than 45 seconds for fighting. Ejected were Will Perdue and Monty Williams for San Antonio, and Derek Fisher and Nick Van Exel for Los Angeles.
The first fight of the evening came with 4:46 remaining and resulted in the ejections of Perdue and Fisher, who tangled and exchanged pushes after Kobe Bryant’s dunk shot.
At 4:02, both Van Exel and Williams were ejected for fighting after a missed 3-point shot by Van Exel.
O’Neal was joined in double figures by Eddie Jones with 18 points, while Van Exel scored 17 and Bryant added 15 against the stingiest defense in the league. The Lakers are the highest-scoring NBA team.
San Antonio, which played without injured David Robinson, was led by Tim Duncan with 26 points and 16 rebounds. The Spurs shot a season-low 31.0 percent from the field (26-for-84).
Leading 51-42 at halftime, Los Angeles opened the third quarter with an 18-10 run on Jones’ 3-pointer. Jones had 12 third-quarter points as Los Angeles led 73-59 going to the fourth period.
Los Angeles continued to stretch the lead. A 7-0 run capped by Bryant’s two free throws built the Lakers’ lead to 86-65.
Behind 23 points from O’Neal and 13 from Van Exel, Los Angeles led 51-42 at halftime.
With the victory, the Lakers are 23-2 against Midwest Division opponents this season.
NOTES: San Antonio leads the NBA in field goal percentage against (40.9) and is tops in the league in fewest points per game allowed (88.4). ... The Lakers lead the NBA with an average of 105.3 points per game. ... Robinson did not play for the second straight game because of a concussion he suffered from the elbow of Karl Malone last Wednesday.