LOS ANGELES -- At this stage of their careers, Shaquille O'Neal is too much for Patrick Ewing to handle. It showed again Sunday.
O'Neal, a virtual lock for his first Most Valuable Player award, scored 24 of his 34 points in the first half as the Lakers rolled to a fight-marred 106-82 victory over the New York Knicks.
The victory was the ninth straight and 28th in 29 games for the Lakers.
The 28-year-old O'Neal also had 12 rebounds, four assists and five blocked shots in dominating the middle against the 37-year-old Ewing, who is in the twilight of his Hall of Fame career.
Ewing, who shot only 6 of 17, had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Kobe Bryant and Chris Childs were ejected following an exchange of punches with 43.4 seconds left in the third quarter.
O'Neal and Ewing exchanged words and the game was delayed for nearly five minutes before Bryant, who had 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds, angrily left the court. Childs, who scored 10 points, left more peacefully.
Both players face automatic suspensions for throwing punches.
HEAT 88, SPURS 84:
In Miami, Jamal Mashburn scored 26 points and Miami took advantage of Tim Duncan's poor free throw shooting to beat San Antonio, the Heat's 16th win in 17 home games.
The Spurs had their five-game winning streak snapped.
Tied at 83, P.J. Brown blocked Duncan's shot in the lane, and on the other end, Mashburn hit a 3-pointer, his second of the game.
Trailing 86-84 with 1:16 to play, Duncan missed the second of two free throws. Tim Hardaway then hit a scoop shot under Duncan to give Miami an 88-84 lead.
Duncan could have pulled the Spurs to within two points, but missed two more from the line.
David Robinson led the Spurs with 28 points.
BULLS 83, CAVALIERS 74:
In Cleveland, Chris Carr scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to spark Chicago past Cleveland.
Carr hit a 3-pointer with 2:10 remaining to put the Bulls ahead to stay, 74-72, and Chicago went on to snap a four-game losing streak and win its 15th of the season.
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