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Pig and Pals Help Lakers End a Three-Game Skid : Pro basketball: Miller, Daniels and Keys make big plays in double-overtime victory over Sacramento.

March 04, 1995|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

INGLEWOOD — They came out of nowhere Friday night. The Lakers and a trio of unlikely heroes.

Lloyd Daniels, Randolph Keys and Anthony (Pig) Miller provided the rescue service at the Forum, leading the Lakers back from a 15-point deficit and helping them avoid the first four-game losing streak of the season with a 109-104 double-overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings before 12,040.

Daniels and Keys, here only because of the rash of injuries, both had big baskets. Miller was just big all the time, getting 18 points and 15 rebounds in what was easily the biggest contribution of his Laker career. Vlade Divac added 27 points and 19 rebounds.

Merely getting to overtime was something of an accomplishment for the Lakers. They trailed, 93-90, after Mitch Richmond made two free throws with 14.5 seconds left, but Daniels' straight-away three-point basket with 6.4 seconds to go tied it. Daniels had started one of seven on the night and 12 of 41 in his L.A. career.

The Lakers even came close to winning in regulation. When Sacramento tried to throw the ball in at midcourt to start the ensuing possession after a timeout, Keys, like Daniels a CBA claimer on a 10-day contract, knocked the pass by Lionel Simmons away from Richmond. The ball rolled the other way toward the basket, Keys in pursuit until running out of bounds, at which point he hurdled the press table and crashed into the front row of seats.

The Kings called another timeout, this time with three seconds left, but couldn't score, forcing overtime. Once there, they jumped to a 99-93 advantage, only to lose that. Keys kept Anthony Peeler's missed three-point shot alive with a tip high off the board, pulled the rebound away from Simmons in the lane and went back up for a fall-away 10-footer with 2.2 seconds remaining.

Overtime No. 2. Miller time. The second-round pick from Michigan State scored the Lakers' first five points of the five-minute period.

If Laker fans weren't panicking after three losses, a fall cushioned by the fact that the last two had come against Utah and Phoenix, that possibility began to emerge late in the second quarter. Right about the time Daniels, again in the starting lineup, forced a terrible shot, which the Kings rebounded and turned into Richmond's jumper and a 45-30 lead.

The Kings have long given the Lakers problems, but this was something else. This was falling behind by 15 points to a team that itself was struggling, coming off an 11-point home loss to lowly Minnesota.

But just as trickles of boos started to come from the fans, it took only about two minutes for the Lakers to cut the deficit to five. They were down only 45-41 at halftime despite shooting 40.5%.

Then, when rookie Miller got a mismatch with Richmond on the left post and spun into the lane for a layin with 1:08 to go in the third quarter, the Lakers were finally even, 67-67. What for an encore? Merely a three-point shot by Miller, the first of his NBA career, with one tick left on the 24-second clock and 2.4 in the period, good for a 70-67 lead heading into the fourth.

*

Laker Notes

Lloyd Daniels, unexpectedly thrust into the starting lineup at small forward, was signed to a second 10-day contract earlier in the day. When this one is up, the Lakers must either release him or sign him for the rest of the season. The CBA's leading scorer while with Ft. Wayne, Daniels was shooting only 32.4% in his five appearances before Friday and was three for 11 and two for seven from the field--a combined 27.8%--in his first two starts in place of the injured George Lynch. "The shots he takes have all been close, if they did not go in," Coach Del Harris said. "They've been right there. As he gets a little more relaxed, those shots will fall." . . . Sedale Threatt sat out his second game in a row because of bursitis in his right foot and this time did not even attend so he could stay off the leg at home. He remains day-to-day, but is scheduled to join the Lakers on the four-game trip that begins Tuesday, as is Sam Bowie.

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