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Lakers run winning streak against Mavericks to 14
Posted: Thursday February 18, 1999 10:19 AM
It worked wonders.
Fisher had season-high totals of 12 points and five rebounds along with six assists Wednesday night to help the Lakers beat the Mavericks 101-88.
Fisher started the previous seven games of the season, but the third-year pro was averaging just 4.0 points, 1.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 22 minutes.
"It was good to play loose for the first time all year," said Fisher, who played 27 minutes against the Mavericks. "After the way I started, I figured it couldn't get any worse. I just let it all hang out.
"I was trying to squeeze 30-plus minutes of basketball into 20, and it wasn't working."
Fisher turned the ball over three times before being replaced by Derek Harper after just 3:11 of play. He didn't return until early in the second quarter, and had six points, three rebounds and three assists in the period.
"The times I've been aggressive, everything just seems to click," said Fisher, who had no turnovers after the first quarter. "I have to remember that.
"Tonight was a beginning for me, to play with some passion, for the love of the game. I think I've been thinking so much, I lose myself in what I need to do."
Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers with 24 points and 12 rebounds despite coming out of the game for good with 2:17 left in the third quarter and the Lakers leading 80-57.
O'Neal scored 11 points in the first 7:12 of play while being guarded by the much smaller A.C. Green as the Lakers went ahead for good.
O'Neal, a 7-foot-1, 315-pounder, just smiled when asked his reaction to being defended by the 6-9, 225-pound Green.
"Nobody's an even match on me down there, I don't care who it is," said O'Neal, the NBA's leading scorer. "One-on-one, that's my rent money down there. I can't let anybody take my rent money."
The victory was the second lopsided triumph in two nights for the Lakers (5-3), and their 14th straight victory over Dallas since 1995. O'Neal didn't play in the final 17 minutes of a 116-88 win over Charlotte on Tuesday night.
"When we're up by 20, 25 points in the fourth quarter, I'll chill," O'Neal said. "It's a long season. The guys have got to do a better job holding the lead. They almost had to put the black Superman back in there."
The Lakers led 53-37 at halftime, and Dallas wasn't closer than 12 points in the second half. Los Angeles led by as many as 27 points in the third quarter before settling for an 84-63 lead entering the final period.
The Mavericks scored nine straight points capped by Hubert Davis' 3-point shot with 3:15 left to make it 96-84, but that was as close as they would get.
"We're glad to get the win," Lakers coach Del Harris said. "We did some good things for three quarters, then kind of played fat-cat ball in the last quarter. It happens sometimes with a 25-point lead, but you never like it."
Reserve Gary Trent led Dallas (1-7), which suffered its sixth straight loss, with 15 points and seven rebounds. Michael Finley added 12 points and Cedric Ceballos, like Green a former Laker, had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Mavericks.
"It was a pretty disappointing first half," said Mavericks coach Don Nelson, whose team is in the middle of a seven-game road trip. "We just don't have enough players playing well enough. A lot of the players on the team need to upgrade their game. That's it in a nutshell."
Notes : Three Lakers were unable to play because of various ailments. Robert Horry missed his third straight game due to an irregular heartbeat. He was scheduled to be re-evaluated today. Rookie Sam Jacobson has a broken ring finger on his left hand, and rookie Tyronn Lue has been experiencing back spasms. ... There was no news on the Dennis Rodman front. The NBA's leading rebounder each of the last seven seasons was reportedly on the verge of signing with the Lakers several days ago and still might. ... The Lakers have a 65-16 overall record against the Mavericks -- 34-7 at home, and 31-9 in Dallas. ... Green started for the Mavericks, extending his consecutive game streak to 986 -- an NBA record. He is scheduled to play in his 1,000th straight game March 13 against Vancouver.
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