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Jackson rides eight 3-pointers to 28 points

11/21/2002

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- After their first 19 shots, it looked like the San Antonio Spurs were reverting to their old, poor form Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers -- even as Shaquille O'Neal watched in street clothes.

The Spurs had made only one of those shots -- a 3-pointer by Tony Parker -- and trailed by a dozen points late in the first quarter.

Then, Stephen Jackson came in off the and bench hit a 3-pointer. And
another. And another.

By the end of the night, Jackson had a career-high 28 points in 29 minutes, including eight baskets from behind the arc, and San Antonio had its second win of the season over the Lakers, 95-88.

"I just felt really good tonight,'' said Jackson, who made seven 3-pointers in a row. "I've never felt better -- not in high school, not on the playground, not ever. You ever feel blessed? That's how I feel tonight.''

David Robinson said it was easy to tell what helped the Spurs recover.

"His first couple of 3's were the difference in this game,'' Robinson said. "He was just in a zone.''

Tim Duncan finished with 16 points, nine in the fourth quarter, and 18 rebounds for the Spurs, and Parker added 14 points.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 24 points on 8-for-25 shooting, but scored only nine in the second half. Rick Fox added 16, Robert Horry 14 and Derek Fisher 11.

The defending NBA champion Lakers, playing without the injured O'Neal, are 3-9 this season.

After making half of their 38 shots in the first half, the Lakers managed only 12-for-38 (31.6 percent) in the final two quarters.

Still, Los Angeles was only three points down to start the final period. But the Spurs went on a 22-8 run to build up a 93-81 lead in the closing minutes.

The Lakers struggled late when Horry, Fox and Samaki Walker were all in foul trouble.

"We had bench players (on the floor) and we were undermanned against Tim,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "That's when they got the game back in order.''

O'Neal said he plans to make his season debut Friday night at
home against the Chicago Bulls. The All-Star center, who had
surgery on his arthritic right big toe in early September, is
scheduled for another checkup by team doctors on Thursday.

"I'll probably get cleared tomorrow, so hopefully I can come back on Friday,'' O'Neal said before Wednesday's game. "I have to see my doctor, my therapist. He has to take X-rays, look at the foot, take blood and all that stuff.''

The Lakers are looking forward to having O'Neal, but Bryant said not all of the team's woes can be blamed on Shaq's absence.

"With or without him, we just have to continue to get better, where the guys don't fell like they have to play out of character,'' he said.

The Spurs missed their first seven shots before Parker's
3-pointer gave them their first lead -- 5-4 at 9:01.

Then they missed another 12 straight over the next six minutes
while Los Angeles went on a 12-0 run. San Antonio's futility streak
ended when Steve Smith sank a short baseline jumper to cut the
Lakers' lead to 16-7.

Jackson hoisted three 3-pointers late in the first, and then two more early in the second as the Spurs turned their shooting woes around, going 13-for-21 in the period. Jackson finished the half with 17 points in 12 minutes.

A cutting dunk by Malik Rose put San Antonio back ahead 38-37 at
5:05, but Los Angeles regained the lead on a pair of free throws
and a dunk by Bryant.

A free throw by Kevin Willis and a 3-pointer by Bruce Bowen in the final 37 seconds gave the Spurs at 50-46 lead at the break.

Game notes
Jackson's previous high was 25, against Atlanta in December
2000 while he played for New Jersey. ... Wednesday's attendance was
18,787, compared to the 32,342 at the Alamodome on May 12 for Game
4 of last season's Western Conference finals, the last time the
Lakers visited San Antonio. ... The Lakers are 1-6 on the road,
including five straight losses. ... Bryant has led the Lakers in
scoring in all 12 games. It was the first time Jackson led the
Spurs in points. ... Los Angeles' record without O'Neal is 49-43
since he joined the team for the 1996-97 season. ... The Spurs
signed Anthony Goldwire, a four-year NBA veteran, as a backup at
point guard on Wednesday. Goldwire played the final 27 seconds.