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NBA PLAYOFFS | LAKER NOTES

Get Jones Into Flow, Scott Says

May 08, 1997|TIM KAWAKAMI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Byron Scott, a 14-year-veteran and non-factor in the Lakers' first five playoff games, studied the tapes of the Utah Jazz's defense and figured he might be fairly useful beginning with Game 2.

And with starting shooting guard Eddie Jones stumbling to what would become a scoreless night Tuesday at the Delta Center, Scott stepped in and stepped up, making seven of his 11 shots, three of his five three-point attempts and scoring 24 points in 25 minutes.

Scott said Laker Coach Del Harris told him before the game that he would get him in quickly, probably to take advantage of his experience despite averaging only 2.6 points on 28% field-goal shooting in the Lakers' first five playoff games.

"They were collapsing on the middle--every time we touched it inside, four or five guys were there," Scott said. "'So, I knew where the cracks in the armor were. I just had to go to those spots, and when we passed it around, I knew I'd get the open looks.

"That's what we've got to keep doing--pass the ball around, find the open spots and hit the shots."

A big Laker key for tonight's Game 3 at the Forum, Scott said, is to make sure Jones is comfortable in the offense right off the bat and moving toward the open spaces.

"He knows he didn't have a good game," Scott said. "He said he wants us to get him into the offense earlier, get him moving, get him into the flow."

*

As Laker forward Robert Horry crossed paths with Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek at the start of the third quarter Tuesday, Hornacek muttered to Horry, who made all five of his three-point shots in the first half and finished seven for seven, causing both to giggle.

"I asked him if he was ever going to cool down," Hornacek said. "He kind of laughed--but he didn't cool down."

*

The Lakers' silent solemnity after the controversial non-call at the end of Game 2 reached a Zen-like zenith with forward Elden Campbell's non-answers, according to the postgame transcript.

Question from a reporter: "Who's the team captain?"

Campbell: "Why?"

Question: "Because Robert [Horry] said to ask the team captain why you're being so silent."

Campbell: "Well, don't worry about it."

Question: "I thought he could make an official statement for the team as to their silence."

Campbell: "Well, he ain't going to talk. Besides, I don't know who it is, either."

For the record, the Lakers have three co-captains: Nick Van Exel, Scott and Shaquille O'Neal.

*

About five hundred tickets remain unsold for tonight's game at the Forum, and 900 remain available for Saturday's game.

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