But even after a 101-90 loss to the last-place Golden State
Warriors, the two-time defending champions still had their bravado.
"I seriously doubt they're going to do that to us next time we
come down here," said Bryant, who scored 39 points.
O'Neal went on the injured list Tuesday with arthritis in his
big toe. Though Bryant lit up the Warriors, Jamison hit enough big
shots for the Pacific Division's last-place team to hand the NBA's
best team its fifth loss of the season.
Golden State improved to 4-2 under interim coach Brian Winters,
with three wins in four games at Oakland. The Lakers saw the game
as an anomaly caused by O'Neal's absence, exhaustion and their own
poor execution -- but don't try telling that to the Warriors.
"A lot of guys have matured," Jamison said. "Two or three
weeks ago, we might have crumbled under the pressure. We stayed
poised. This team has really progressed in the right direction."
The game was reminiscent of Jamison's memorable duel with Bryant
at the Arena last season, when the stars scored 51 points apiece in
an overtime victory that was the highlight of the Warriors' dismal
After Bryant hit consecutive 3-pointers to pull the Lakers to
87-83 with 2:18 left, Jamison made back-to-back shots and later hit
two free throws to seal it.
"The Lakers pushed us to the limit, which I knew they would,"
Winters said. "They're a team that thinks they can win anywhere,
(so) we wanted to make their whole team work hard."
Bryant, who said his pulled ribcage muscle felt much better as
the game went on, scored 26 points in the second half on a barrage
of outside shots, but he was basically the Lakers' only hope on
offense. His frustration showed when he got a technical foul with
5:42 to play.
"He took on a little bit more than we wanted him to, but he had
a good night," Jackson said. "Some nights are going to be like
that. We made a couple of good runs, but offensively, they really
took the ball at us."
While trailing throughout the second half, the Lakers lost their
composure during a series of questionable calls and officiating
blunders that resulted in a 3-pointer getting taken off the
scoreboard for Golden State.
Jackson got a technical foul and was ejected by referee Rodney
Mott when Jackson complained he hadn't been given sufficient time
to substitute for George.
Jackson came to midcourt to argue. After a long conversation,
the officials waved off Jackson's ejection and Hughes' 3,
infuriating Winters and the sellout crowd.
"I've seen a lot of strange scenes, but nothing like that
before," Jackson said.
"The referee made a bonehead play," Bryant said. "It's part
of the game. He acknowledged it, and he took it back."
Rookie Jason Richardson scored 20 points for Golden State. He
also put on his near-nightly dunk exhibition, making two one-handed
"It didn't matter who was out there," Richardson said. "It
just feels great to beat the Lakers."
Los Angeles, which came from behind to beat Philadelphia on
Tuesday night, got 12 points and eight rebounds from Slava
For the second straight night, the Lakers fell behind in the
first half. The Warriors led by 11 points early in the second
quarter, but the Lakers scored 11 straight before going to halftime
Fortson has at least 17 rebounds in his last four games. No
Warrior has done that since 1972-73, when Nate Thurmond had at
least 17 in nine straight. ... With 9 1/2 minutes to play and the
Lakers trailing by 12, Bryant turned to a heckler behind the
scorer's table and said, "It's a long game. I wouldn't cheer too
much if I was you." ... Golden State has won just five times in
its last 26 meetings with the Lakers. ... In the first half, Ralph
Burge of Auburn, Calif., won $25,000 from a local casino by putting
a golf ball across the court through a 3-inch hole under the