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NBA PLAYOFFS | LAKER NOTES

Rooks Suffers Arm Injury

May 05, 1997|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SALT LAKE CITY — Laker subs, going under:

Already shorthanded on the front line because Corie Blount remains in Los Angeles because of a shoulder injury, the team's depth took another hit when Sean Rooks was lost for the second half because of an arm injury, which came about the same time Jerome Kersey was feeling lightheaded, perhaps because of the altitude.

The perfect end to the perfect day came in that the Laker reserves were dominated in scoring by their Jazz counterparts, 33-9. At least Kersey started feeling better, physically.

"Just something that persisted a little bit of time," he said after the game. "But I feel fine now."

Rooks, meanwhile, had X-rays taken of his left arm, just above the wrist. Results were not immediately released.

*

Is it too late for a recount?

Those 91.3% of the people who responded to a poll last July that the Orlando Magic should not pay $115 million to Shaquille O'Neal on Sunday got exactly what everyone saw coming 10 months ago, a first-round playoff loss. The only real accomplishment came in forcing a Game 5.

Not that O'Neal noticed or anything.

"Who cares," he said. "Penny [Hardaway] played great. Darrell Armstrong played great. I'm glad I left."

*

Game 1 against the Jazz got off to an auspicious start: Malone and Sloan got technicals in the first quarter for arguing, and O'Neal and Antoine Carr got hit in the second period after a brief tangle. "I play a little bit better when I get a technical foul," Malone said of his vehemently arguing a non-call to official Ed F. Rush, and continuing to after getting it. "I don't think it was a matter of losing our composure."

Times staff writer Tim Kawakami contributed to this story.

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