LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After the Lakers' big man fouled out, the
Warriors' little man took charge.
Shaquille O'Neal, who led the Lakers with 28 points and nine
rebounds, fouled out with 3:58 remaining.
Golden State Eric Musselman liked the way Boykins came up big
again late in the game.
"He's a guy that wasn't even with an NBA team the first three
weeks of the season, but as far as a guy coming in and being like a
baseball closer, he's a guy that hits big shot after big shot and
wins games for us,'' Musselman said.
Boykins, the shortest player in the league, has helped the
Warriors bounce back from a 1-7 start since signing Nov. 27. Golden
State has gone 17-17 since then, and the win over the three-time
defending NBA champions was the Warriors' ninth victory in 14
After getting charged with a turnover, missing a shot and then
committing a three-shot foul against Derek Fisher, Boykins hit an
8-foot turnaround jumper for a 109-105 lead with 38 seconds
Devean George scored for the Lakers, but Boykins drove the lane,
looped in a shot, was fouled and made the free throw for a 112-107
edge with 9.7 seconds left. That was too much for the Lakers to
"I just wanted to make sure I got a good shot. In this league,
I am confident I can beat anybody one-on-one, so I just went at him
(Fisher),'' said Boykins, who has played well down the stretch in
other games for the Warriors.
He had 18 points and six steals over the final 18 minutes as
Golden State overcame a 21-point third-quarter deficit to beat
Denver 92-82 on Nov. 29.
Boykins, in his fifth NBA season, scored 20 of his career-high
28 points in the fourth quarter and also had eight assists in
107-98 victory over Minnesota on Jan. 17.
"Earl has been great for us in the fourth quarter. We call him
`Mr. Clutch,''' said Jason Richardson, whose two free throws capped
the scoring for the Warriors. "He takes it to guys, gets to the
line and helps us win a lot of games.''
Antawn Jamison scored 30 points and Richardson 17 for Golden
Fisher had 24 points for Los Angeles and Kobe Bryant added 23,
but just five after halftime. Bryant missed practice this week
because of tendinitis in his right knee.
"He was not his normal self, but he was out there playing and
competing,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of Bryant. "I don't
think he had his mind into the game as well as he would have liked,
because he had some things physically that were hanging onto him.''
Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds remaining to pull Los
Angeles to 112-110, but the Lakers had to foul and Richardson made
both free throws with 6.5 seconds left.
Fisher missed two of the three free throws after Boykins fouled
him beyond the arc, leaving the Lakers down 107-103 with 1:10
remaining. Bryant narrowed it to 107-105 with a reverse layup with
48 seconds left, but then Boykins made his turnaround to build the
lead back to four points.
The game was close all the way, with neither team leading by
more than seven points. There were 16 lead changes and the game was
tied 18 different times.
Golden State led 86-84 heading into the fourth quarter. O'Neal
had 10 points in the third, but Bryant missed his only two shots
and did not score.
In the first half, Bryant had 18 points and O'Neal 16 to help
the Lakers to a 62-58 halftime lead.
The Lakers beat the Warriors in overtime on Nov. 15 while
O'Neal was still out following toe surgery, then Golden State
downed Los Angeles 106-102 at Oakland on Dec. 10 with O'Neal in the
lineup. He had 36 points in that loss. ... With O'Neal shooting 61
percent from the line this season, Jackson noted that he's no
longer asked about the center's free throw shooting. "It's a nice
thing to not have to talk about it,'' Jackson said.
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