Milwaukee fans boo as Bryant scores 31

Posted: Wednesday, November 05, 2003

MILWAUKEE Kobe Bryant wasn't the only one booed, when fans jeered him and former Buck Gary Payton every time they touched the ball in Los Angeles' comeback victory,

Bryant scored 31 points, Shaquille O'Neal had 23 and Payton 19 as the Lakers (4-0) stayed unbeaten by overcoming a 10-point second-half deficit to beat the Bucks 113-107.

The Bucks, outscored 24-10 over the final 7:07, got a career-high 36 points from Michael Redd.

Bryant expects jabs in every NBA arena outside the Staples Center after being charged with sexual assault in Colorado last summer.

Payton only played 34 games in Milwaukee last season after the blockbuster trade with Seattle before bolting to Los Angeles for the chance to win a ring.

That was enough for the Bradley Center crowd to feel spurned, and they razzed Payton and Bryant with equal vigor, especially when Payton took a pass from Bryant underneath and drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Lakers a 57-54 halftime lead.

Pacers 71, Nuggets 60

INDIANAPOLIS Jermaine O'Neal had 25 points and 20 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers withstood a furious fourth-quarter rally to defeat the Denver Nuggets 71-60 Tuesday night.

Ron Artest and Al Harrington bottled up Denver rookie Carmelo Anthony, and the Nuggets shot just 29 percent and committed 23 turnovers. The Pacers weren't much better, shooting 35 percent and committing 18 turnovers. But they withstood a 17-2 surge by Denver in the final period.

Anthony scored just 2 points on 1-of-13 shooting in his worst night as a pro. Artest and Harrington harassed and frustrated last year's NCAA Final Four MVP all night, getting a hand in his face on nearly every shot.

Earl Boykins led the Nuggets with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting. His teammates finished 16-for-67 (24 percent) from the floor.

Rockets 86, Nets 75

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Steve Francis ignited a game-ending 14-1 run with eight straight points and an assist to lead Houston.

Francis finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Rockets won for the third time in four games under former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy.

Cuttino Mobley led Houston with 20 points. Maurice Taylor added eight of his 14 points in the final quarter, when the Rockets' league-leading defense limited the Nets to 4-of-18 shooting. Yao Ming added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Richard Jefferson had 21 points to lead the Nets, who looked a little listless playing for the second straight game without Kenyon Martin, who has an ankle injury. Jason Kidd had 16 points, seven rebounds and nine assists in a performance that was misleading because he had 13 points in the first quarter.

Spurs 80, Heat 73

SAN ANTONIO Malik Rose had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the patchwork Spurs past still-winless Miami.

A driving basket by Lamar Odom with 2:13 remaining cut the Spurs' lead to 74-73. But Manu Ginobili found Rasho Nesterovic for a dunk with 1:13 remaining, and Jason Hart and Ginobili made a pair of free throws apiece in the final 16 seconds to cinch the win.

The Spurs were without injured Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, and suspended coach Gregg Popovich.

Ginobili paced San Antonio with 15 points, while Nesterovic added 14 and reserve Kevin Willis 13.

Eddie Jones led Miami with 26 points, all but four in the first half, before he fouled out with less than five minutes left. Odom added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

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