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LAKERS WIN RACE TO FINISH NBA: L.A. MATCHES WARRIORS' PACE IN OLD-SCHOOL SHOOTOUT FOR THIRD-STRAIGHT VICTORY. LAKERS 123, GOLDEN STATE 113.

Byline: Elliott Teaford

Staff Writer

It was frantic. It was frenzied. It was fun.

The Lakers and Golden State Warriors played with the accelerator mashed to the floor Sunday night. They raced around the Staples Center court at top speed from start to finish, apparently unaware that hitting the brakes was an option.

When the checkered flag dropped, the Lakers had taken a 123-113 victory from the Warriors in front of a well-entertained sellout crowd of 18,997.

The win was the Lakers' third in a row after road victories over the Minnesota Timberwolves last Tuesday and the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. It also was their ninth consecutive victory over the Warriors.

Contributions came from here, there and seemingly everywhere for the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 28 points, but shot only 9 of 23. He also had eight assists and six rebounds in 38 minutes. The Lakers survived -- and even thrived -- despite Bryant's poor shooting because of their scoring depth.

Andrew Bynum matched his career high with 20 points and also had 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. Derek Fisher had 15points, Lamar Odom scored 14points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Vladimir Radmanovic added 14 points.

Baron Davis led Golden State with 20 points, but had only five after the first quarter. Stephen Jackson added 18 points for the Warriors.

"We knew how they were going to play," Odom said of the Warriors' frenetic pace. "Their style is real loose. Games like that are always fun to play."

The teams wore throwback uniforms, which set the tone for an old-school shootout. The Lakers donned replica jerseys from the 1987-88 season. The Warriors' uniforms were from 1974-75, their lone title season while in the Bay Area.

"No hot pants," Odom said before the game.

No, the teams wouldn't go so far as to return to the short shorts of yesteryear.

Still, there were elements of the NBA's high-scoring past on display.

The Lakers aren't afraid to play at breakneck speed this season, having adjusted their triangle offense in search of more fastbreak opportunities.

The Warriors seldom need encouragement to run and gun, even it means pulling up for 3-pointers.

Certainly, a high-tempo game suits the Warriors more than the Lakers. But the Lakers stuck with them like lint on a wool sweater, never hesitating when it might have seemed more prudent to slow down the pace.

The Lakers eased away from the Warriors in the second half by turning up the intensity on defense.

They turned a 60-59 halftime lead into a 10-point victory because they shared the ball and helped each other defensively.

"When everyone is involved offensively, it helps our defense," Odom said. "When everyone gets involved, it seems like we're a better team. The ball moves, everyone's making shots and we're a pretty good defensive team, too."

With Bryant scoring only two points on 1-for-7 shooting to start the game, the Lakers searched high and low for a go-to guy before settling on the 20-year-old Bynum.

It was a sound move considering the Warriors' lack of size. Bynum was more or less free to roam the paint without concerning himself with defensive pressure.

Andris Biedrins, a 6-foot-11, third-year player from Latvia, lined up against Bynum, but was overmatched from the start.

Bynum scored on a variety of layups and dunks. He even attempted a 17- foot jump shot, but missed. He was much more successful at close range, scoring 15points on 7-for-12 shooting in the first half.

In addition to leading the Lakers in scoring in the first half, Bynum had a team-high six rebounds.

elliott.teaford@dailybreeze.com

LAKERS

THURSDAY

vs. San Antonio, 7:30 p.m., Staples Center.

TV:TNT

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

The Lakers' Andrew Bynum defends against Golden State's Andris Biedrins on Sunday. Bynum matched his career-high with 20 points.

Kevin Chang/Staff Photographer
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 10, 2007
Words:644
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