Originally created 04/09/00

Shaq-less Lakers routed; Hawks' struggles continue

LOS ANGELES -- Without Shaquille O'Neal, the Los Angeles Lakers are mere mortals, and it showed Saturday night.

With O'Neal sidelined by a sprained left ankle, Tim Duncan and David Robinson dominated the middle as the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs beat Los Angeles 98-80, snapping the Lakers' 11-game winning streak.

The Lakers lost for just the second time since the Spurs beat them 105-81 in San Antonio on Feb. 1 -- their most one-sided setback of the season. They have since won 30 of 32 games.

Duncan had 26 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots, and Robinson added 15 points and eight rebounds as the Spurs snapped a three-game losing streak and beat the Lakers for the seventh time in eight games, including a sweep of the Western Conference finals last May.


In Washington, Chris Whitney scored 19 points as the Wizards beat Atlanta to extend the Hawks' losing streak to a season-high six games.

Richard Hamilton scored 16 points, Mitch Richmond added 15 and Jahidi White had 13 points and 14 rebounds for Washington, which stretched Atlanta's road losing skid to a franchise-record 11 games. The Wizards have won two straight at MCI Center and eight of 11 overall.

Alan Henderson led Atlanta with 22 points.


In Portland, Steve Smith scored 27 points and the Trail Blazers held Vancouver to one field goal in the third quarter in winning by 13.

Rasheed Wallace added 21 points and Brian Grant had 20 for Portland, which recovered from an 89-87 loss in Vancouver Thursday night.


In Dallas, Michael Finley scored 19 points, including five free throws in the final minute, as the Mavericks held off a late charge to beat the Clippers.

Erick Strickland also had 19 points for Dallas, which won its fourth in a row and sixth of its last seven. Dirk Nowitzki added 18 points, Greg Buckner had 15 and Steve Nash 13 for Dallas.


In Cleveland, Shawn Kemp scored 25 points and Lamond Murray had 11 of his 21 in the third quarter when Cleveland pulled away as the Cavaliers ended Detroit's four-game winning streak.

Grant Hill, bothered by a sore left ankle, scored 11 points on 4-of-18 shooting and went just 2-of-8 from the line for the Pistons. He sat out the final eight minutes when the game got out of reach.

BUCKS 109, NETS 101:

In Milwaukee, Ray Allen scored 21 points and Tim Thomas, Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell had 20 as the Bucks held off New Jersey.

Milwaukee, which has won five of its last seven after struggling through the season's second half, pulled within 1' games of Orlando for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.


In Chicago, Toronto clinched the first winning season in their five-year history and moved closer to clinching a playoff berth by routing the Bulls.

Toronto, emerging from a slump in which it lost eight of nine games, took off behind the play of Tracy McGrady and the shooting of veteran Dee Brown.


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