Shaquille O'Neal had 27 points and 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers extended their winning streak to 16 games, tying the second-longest in team history, by defeating the Bucks, 103-94, last night in Milwaukee.
The win matched the Lakers' 16-game streak in 1990-91 but still left them 17 short of the NBA-record 33 games the Lakers won in 1971-72--a streak that ended against the Bucks.
Milwaukee, which had its six-game home winning streak snapped, is the ninth team with a winning record that the Lakers have beaten during the streak.
The Lakers beat the Bucks at their own game, bombarding Milwaukee with outside shots from Glen Rice, Kobe Bryant and Ron Harper during the second half. Rice had 20 points and Bryant added 22. Harper had 16 points and seven rebounds.
The Lakers are two wins away from joining five other teams in league history with 18-game streaks. Only three teams, including the 1970-71 Bucks and the 1971-72 Lakers, have won more than 18 straight games.
In January 1972, the Lakers' 33-game streak was derailed by the Bucks in Milwaukee.
"Phil [Jackson] doesn't talk about it, we don't talk about it at practice," O'Neal said. "We just go out and win--and win, and win, and win."
PISTONS 114, KNICKS 108: Lindsey Hunter, Grant Hill and Jerry Stackhouse each scored 29 points in leading Detroit in Auburn Hills, Mich. Hunter hit a career-high seven three-point shots for the surging Pistons, who have won seven of their last eight.
SONICS 103, NUGGETS 93: In Denver, Gary Payton scored 35 points and Brent Barry added 21 for Seattle. The Sonics, who trailed 85-84 after Denver's Keon Clark tipped in a missed shot with 8:44 to go, outscored Denver 19-8 the rest of the way, including seven points by Payton.
CELTICS 95, CLIPPERS 88: Paul Pierce scored 22 points, including seven straight during a key run in the fourth quarter, as host Boston snapped a two-game losing streak.
SUNS 95, GRIZZLIES 92: Jason Kidd had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his fifth triple-double in 13 games, as visiting Phoenix snapped a three-game losing.
RAPTORS 108, MAGIC 102: Vince Carter had 30 points and a career-high nine assists as Toronto, at home, snapped a three-game losing streak. Reserve guard Muggsy Bogues had a season-high 22 points, including making 10 of 11 free throws.
TRAIL BLAZERS 95, CAVALIERS 75: Rasheed Wallace scored 25 points and Steve Smith added 18 as host Portland earned its ninth victory in 10 games.