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Lakers cruise past Mavericks

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Shaq honoured by Lakers; Kobe collects triple-double

Kobe Bryant (right) and Chris Kaman.Photo: ap
Kobe Bryant (right) and Chris Kaman.Photo: ap

Shaquille O’Neal returned to Los Angeles to receive love and royalty while on the field the Lakers picked up a much-needed victory.

Kobe Bryant collected his second triple-double of the season with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Lakers cruised to a 101-81 victory over the visiting Dallas Mavericks.

The victory on Tuesday moved the desperate Lakers (39-36) into a tie with idle Utah for the eighth spot in the Western Conference with seven games left. The Jazz, however, own the tie-breaker, should the teams finish the regular-season with identical records.

During a special halftime ceremony at Staples Center, O’Neal, who along with Bryant led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA titles and was named Finals MVP each time, had his jersey (No. 34) retired.

Elsewhere, Carmelo Anthony matched a career-high with 50 points as the New York Knicks extended their winning streak to nine games after beating the injury-depleted Miami Heat 102-90. John Wall collected 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds helping the Washington Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 90-86 for their eighth straight home win.DPA


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