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NBA PLAYOFFS

Game Report

May 01, 1997|ARA NAJARIAN

FIRST QUARTER

LAKERS 17, TRAIL BLAZERS 32

* IN REVIEW: Kenny Anderson was--dare we say it?--blazing. He had 17 points on seven-of-seven shooting, with three three-point baskets. Anderson did everything, including cutting through the lane past all the Laker big men and even handing out a couple of assists. Portland's intensity was obviously greater than the Lakers', and Anderson was why. His teammates even had trouble keeping up with him. The Lakers were Shaquille O'Neal and a cloud of diesel dust. It was difficult to discern if he was the only one able to do anything offensively or if he was the only one who would. One positive for the Lakers was that O'Neal was able to draw Arvydas Sabonis and Chris Dudley into committing two fouls each.

* LEADING LAKER SCORER: Shaquille O'Neal 9.

* LEADING TRAIL BLAZER SCORER: Kenny Anderson 17.

SECOND QUARTER

LAKERS 36, TRAIL BLAZERS 59

* IN REVIEW: To say "if it wasn't for bad luck, the Lakers would not have had any luck at all" would be too optimistic--it would imply that luck was involved. It wasn't. The Trail Blazers simply were playing better than the Lakers. At one point, the Blazers led by 26 points. Anderson cooled, if only because he was resting on the bench for much of the quarter. O'Neal continued to be the only consistent Laker, although Byron Scott's presence in the backcourt with Kobe Bryant and Eddie Jones did seem to boost their intensity. That just meant they were upset by the 23-point halftime deficit.

* LEADING LAKER SCORER: O'Neal 9.

* LEADING TRAIL BLAZER SCORER: Gary Trent 6.

THIRD QUARTER

LAKERS 58, TRAIL BLAZERS 84

* IN REVIEW: The Lakers came out and started taking the ball to the basket . . . and missed two layups. Instead of the Lakers coming out of the break and making a run, it was the Trail Blazers. Portland had a 10-2 run to open the half and went on to a 31-point lead. Robert Horry finally took his first shot, a 20-foot jump shot from the corner, and missed. Nick Van Exel continued to shoot and miss. He even went to the free-throw line with a chance for his first points and missed the free throws. The highlight of the Laker quarter was a brief run to cut the lead to 24. It was back to 26 on the next Portland possession. Rasheed Wallace took over for Anderson as Mr. Everything. He scored from behind the three-point line, off of rebounds and on alley-oops.

* LEADING LAKER SCORER: Eddie Jones 7.

* LEADING TRAIL BLAZER SCORER: Rasheed Wallace 9.

FOURTH QUARTER

LAKERS 90, TRAIL BLAZERS 98

* IN REVIEW: In the coaching move of the game, Del Harris sent six Lakers out on the floor after a time out. Oh, if they only could have escaped getting caught. But even the Lakers laughed at themselves for that. Then, the suddenly loose Lakers made a run, led by Bryant. Hey, it's the NBA, everybody makes a run. This one was a little late, but the Lakers got it down to single digits with three minutes left by starting the quarter on a 24-6 run. The Lakers called timeout after every Portland possession in the last minute to set up three-point shot attempts, which brought them as close as six. But even with the Lakers timing every play, Portland was only killing time. Wallace and Anderson, who had Portland's only field goal of the quarter, each converted two free throws in the last minutes to hold off the Lakers. Sabonis and Dudley both fouled out without scoring. Two Laker starters, Van Exel and Horry, didn't score or get in foul trouble. O'Neal outscored Portland counterpart Sabonis, 29-0, but the rest of the Trail Blazer starters outscored the rest of the Laker starters, 80-15.

* LEADING LAKER SCORER: Bryant 14.

* LEADING TRAIL BLAZER SCORER: Anderson 7.

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