Shaquille O'Neal had 34 points and 14 rebounds and Kobe Bryant collected 34 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Lakers extended their home winning streak to 10 games with a 91-79 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Los Angeles has won just four of its last seven games, with all three losses coming on the road. But the Lakers have been displaying their championship form at the Staples Center, where they have not lost since February 19.
Los Angeles led the entire fourth quarter but was clinging to a 73-71 lead after Portland's Scottie Pippen sank a 3-pointer with 8:49 left. The Lakers responded with a 15-4 run, led by O'Neal, who who had two dunks, a jumper and made 2-of-4 free throws during the stretch.
Devean George scored half of his eight points during the spurt, which gave Los Angeles an 88-75 cushion with 2:57 to play.
The Lakers improved to 29-7 this season at the Staples Center and moved within 1 1/2 games of first-place Sacramento in the Western Conference.
"We've been known to play down to the opponent," O'Neal said. "Whenever we get somebody in here that's a top caliber team, we always step up. As far as getting the number one spot goes, we just have to do this against all teams."
O'Neal and Bryant combined to make 25-of-45 shots and 18-of-24 free throws for Los Angeles, which shot 42 percent (34-of-81) from the floor and 75 percent (21-of-28) from the line.
"We had a good one-two punch tonight," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Our two headliners came out and played a pretty good game. I think we need to get a string of wins together in the win column at the end of the season to feel like we have momentum."
Samaki Walker grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds to help the Lakers to a 55-47 rebounding advantage.
Damon Stoudamire scored 17 points and Shawn Kemp added 12 and 16 rebounds as Portland lost for the second time in three games and fell into a tie with Minnesota for sixth place in the West.
Pippen scored just five points on 2-of-18 shooting and made 1-of-11 3-pointers.
"I just didn't have any rhythm out there," he said. "I didn't have much in my shot. During the game it's tough to get it back. It was one of those games where we felt if we played well we could get a win. We didn't play well."
Bonzi Wells had 15 points and Dale Davis collected 11 and nine rebounds for the Blazers, shot just 33 percent (30-of-92) from the floor and was 6-of-25 from 3-point range.
"We didn't make the shots," Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "That's the game. You may have to credit their defense, defense had something to do with it, but Scottie had a few open shots that he didn't make and would normally be winning games."
Portland played without forward Rasheed Wallace, who is sidelined with back spasms.
"It's kind of tough when you're missing 20 points from our lineup without Rasheed, so it's going to be tough," Wells said. It's a good test for us, against the world champs. We're still confident we can beat anyone."
Bryant scored 17 points in the first quarter and the Lakers scored the first seven points of the second to open a 35-21 cushion. But Bryant left the game for the first time with 10:20 left in the first half and the Blazers took advantage.
Portland immediately responded with a 16-4 run. Davis scored four points during the spurt and Kerr added the final six and brought the Blazers within 39-37 with 4:41 left.
The Lakers led, 51-43, with just under a minute to go, but Stoudamire and Wells each nailed a 3-pointer in the final 45 seconds to pull Portland within 51-49 at the half.
The teams were tied five times and traded the lead three times in the third quarter before Los Angeles took the lead for good, 69-68 on a pair of free throws by Bryant with 68 seconds left in the period.