The Lakers showed nearly as much in defeat Tuesday night at the Forum as in victory twice at Phoenix. . . .
This time, the Suns were on their game, and they still couldn't put away the Lakers until the final 6.6 seconds.
During the closing moments of the Houston Rockets' rout of the Clippers on Monday night at the Sports Arena, a chant came down from the balcony. . . .
Instead of calling for the Clippers' heads, the fans were shouting, "Thank you, Danny! Thank you!" . . .
It seems that Danny Manning, who wanted no publicity for his good deed, had bought 1,500 tickets for Game 3 of the series and given them to a local church group. . . .
Clearly, it is the best thing any Clipper has done this week in Los Angeles. . . .
Their performance against the Rockets--the game wasn't nearly as close as the 111-99 score--was so dismal that predictions were that the crowd for tonight's game would be even smaller than the 12,628 who failed to tax the Sports Arena's 15,925 capacity. . . .
But up stepped ARCO Products Company to help fill many of what would have been several thousand empty seats by offering free tickets to youth groups of 50 or more. Interested parties can call the Clipper office until 10:30 this morning. . . .
Smallest NBA playoff crowd in memory was 6,704 for the Philadelphia-Milwaukee game at the Spectrum on Easter Sunday of 1981. . . .
It would help the Clipper cause if center Stanley Roberts wouldn't draw two personal fouls during the warmups--well, the first two minutes 21 seconds, as he did Monday. . . .
That set the tone on a night when Roberts got six fouls, but no points. . . .
Of course, the Rockets would not have been easy for any team to beat. Hakeem Olajuwon was at his best. Enough said. . . .
When NBA coach-of-the-year candidates are mentioned, the Rockets' Rudy Tomjanovich belongs right up there with Pat Riley and John Lucas. . . .
Shouldn't Manning, who led the Clippers with 23 points, have been given more than 35 minutes of playing time? . . .
If it takes critical comments by Bill Walton on NBC to get the Clippers inspired for a playoff game, something is wrong. . . .
A repeat of Game 3 would turn owner Donald Sterling's new beard even more gray. . . .
The "Official NBA Register" lists one of the league's legends, George Yardley, as having attended Balboa High in San Francisco. Wrong Balboa. He lived on Balboa Island and starred at Newport Harbor High. . . .
Dr. Ferdie Pacheco on Tony Tucker, who will challenge World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas: "He's got just about everything you need to be a champion. But his heart has been frozen for 10 years. I don't know if he can defrost it." . . .
How big is Lewis in Great Britain? Sixty-one working press credentials have been issued to writers from there. . . .
The Lubbock, Tex., Avalanche-Journal published an extra edition commemorating Texas Tech's NCAA women's basketball championship. It was the newspaper's first extra since the bombing of Pearl Harbor 52 years ago. . . .
The Mighty Ducks made a good move by signing David McNab, a highly regarded scout for the New York Rangers. . . .
It has been mentioned that Jerome Bettis might become known as the Battering Ram. Well, the original Battering Ram of Anaheim Stadium was Todd Yert, the Colorado State Ram fullback from Mission Viejo who scored the winning touchdown in the 1990 Freedom Bowl against Oregon. . . .
Troy Aikman, Terry Donahue and Jim Harrick will be among those playing in the 16th annual UCLA Invitational golf tournament May 13 at the Industry Hills and Sheraton Resort in the City of Industry. Spots are still available. . . .
Seven Bruins have signed NFL free-agent contracts--Arnold Ale with New England, Mike Chalenski with Philadelphia, Michael Williams with San Diego, Rick Daly with Denver and Kaleaph Carter, Kevin Jordan and Louis Perez with the Rams. . . .
John Olerud, the Toronto Blue Jays' first baseman who leads the major leagues in batting, has been nicknamed "Hobbsy" by his teammates, as in Roy Hobbs, the heavy-hitting hero of "The Natural." . . .
How could the Blue Jays have allowed left-handed pitchers Jimmy Key and David Wells to leave? One maybe, but not both. . . .
Every time I hear that Colorado is playing Florida, I think it's the Buffaloes against the Gators. . . .
One of my favorites during 30 years on the Southern California sports beat, Dr. Phil Young, died Monday at 70. He was an assistant football coach at Occidental before developing an interest in boxing and promoting shows in Orange County, the San Fernando Valley and Sacramento. His wit, wisdom and kindness will be missed.