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NBA PLAYOFFS

Game Report

May 07, 1997

FIRST QUARTER: LAKERS: 24, JAZZ: 27

* IN REVIEW: Both teams struggled early with fumbled rebounds and turnovers as they made the game look more like a pickup game at Venice Beach than an NBA playoff showdown. Utah's Bryon Russell scored the first basket after nearly two minutes of play. Karl Malone scored his first basket with 5:20 remaining to give Utah a 15-10 lead. After Shaquille O'Neal's second monster dunk of the quarter, the Lakers trailed, 15-12, with four minutes left. Veterans Byron Scott and Jerome Kersey gave the Lakers a lift, but Utah was aided by three illegal defense calls against the Lakers and three technical free throws. Robert Horry's jump shot finally returned as he made two three-point baskets in the quarter.

* LEADING LAKER SCORER: O'Neal 10.

* LEADING JAZZ SCORER: Jeff Hornacek 11.

SECOND QUARTER: LAKERS 55, JAZZ: 59

* IN REVIEW: The Lakers' Kobe Bryant made his presence felt with a sweet crossover dribble past Utah's Chris Morris and a right-handed baseline slam dunk over Antoine Carr to give the Lakers a 29-27 lead. Horry made three consecutive three-point baskets sandwiched around two muscle layups by Malone. The teams exchanged baskets, including a Nick Van Exel three-pointer, and the score was tied, 49-49. The Jazz broke away with a 10-6 run to close the quarter, highlighted by a breakaway dunk by Russell. In the half, Utah made 12 more free throws than the Lakers, who did not get a point from either Eddie Jones or Elden Campbell.

* LEADING LAKER SCORER: Horry 9.

* LEADING JAZZ SCORER: Malone 10.

THIRD QUARTER: LAKERS 85, JAZZ: 87

* IN REVIEW: The Jazz got more physical to start the second half and O'Neal quickly picked up his fourth foul and did not return for the final nine minutes of the quarter. Utah took a 68-61 lead on a layup by Malone, but Horry kept the Lakers close with his sixth three-point basket. After picking up his fourth foul, Campbell finally woke up and scored seven points in the quarter. But Scott was the story as he had 21 points in the first three quarters to go along with Horry's NBA-playoff record of seven three-pointers without a miss. Malone kept the Jazz ahead by dominating Laker rookie Travis Knight inside for three baskets and two assists. The Jazz made 17 more free throws than the Lakers heading into the fourth quarter.

* LEADING LAKER SCORER: Scott 11.

* LEADING JAZZ SCORER: Hornacek 8.

FINAL: LAKERS 101, JAZZ: 103

* IN REVIEW: O'Neal returned after his long rest and he scored five early points as nearly every Laker possession went through him. Malone kept the pressure on with consecutive jump shots but two three-pointers by Russell helped put the Jazz ahead, 99-93, with less than five minutes remaining. Hornacek made a key shot over Scott, but back-to-back three-point plays by O'Neal and Scott cut the Jazz lead to 101-99. Horry made a key defensive play on Russell, and Van Exel tied the score, 101-101, with less than 50 seconds remaining. Malone, who struggled in the fourth quarter, missed his third consecutive shot, but O'Neal also missed to keep the score tied. With time running down, John Stockton led a break for Utah and passed in the paint to Carr, who was fouled by Horry. Carr made two free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining. After a timeout by the Lakers, Van Exel's effort to get off a desperation three-point shot was stymied when Malone knocked the ball away, and replays showed he probably got Van Exel's arm too.

* LEADING LAKER SCORER: O'Neal 9.

* LEADING JAZZ SCORER: Russell 6.

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