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GAME 3 REPORT: NBA PLAYOFFS LAKERS LEAD SERIES 2-1
: LAKER REPORT

First Quarter

May 09, 1998|ELLIOTT TEAFORD

SUPERSONICS 28, LAKERS 27

* Highlight Reel: Jack Nicholson at courtside. All computer nerds seated in the last row at the Great Western Forum. You too, Bill Gates. Shaquille O'Neal abusing Seattle's Jim McIlvaine in the low post. McIlvaine used three fouls and was scoreless in six minutes. Yep, that's what the sellout crowd came to see. Jack and Shaq.

* What You Won't Find in the Box Score: Kobe Bryant again. Flu kept him at home for Game 3 and makes him doubtful for Sunday.

* Winning Number: Three points for Hersey Hawkins and six for Gary Payton, a sign the Lakers must remember to play tight defense on the SuperSonic guards again.

* Wrong Number: The Lakers shanked seven of 12 free throws.

* Leading Scorers: Lakers--Eddie Jones 12; SuperSonics--Detlef Schrempf 10.

* Leading Rebounders: Lakers--Robert Horry 5; SuperSonics--3 with 2.

SUPERSONICS 51, LAKERS 56

* Highlight Reel: It's a bird. It's a plane. It's O'Neal flying into the courtside seats to save a loose ball. Somehow he whipped it across court, which led to Jones' three-pointer at the other end. Jones made eight of 10 shots, including three of four threes, in a 20-point first half.

* What You Won't Find in the Box Score: Payton taking Nick Van Exel down low repeatedly late in the quarter. Not all of Payton's 12 first-half points were against Van Exel. But the pattern was established late in the period.

* Winning Number: The Lakers outrebounded the SuperSonics in the half, 24-14.

* Wrong Number: How big would the Laker lead be if they could make free throws more often? They were 12 for 21 by halftime.

* Leading Scorers: Lakers-- Jones 8; SuperSonics--Vin Baker, Payton 6.

* Leading Rebounders: Lakers--4 with 2; SuperSonics--Jerome Kersey 5.

SUPERSONICS 74, LAKERS 87

* Highlight Reel: It was Jones' game Friday. Everyone else--except O'Neal and Van Exel--was simply along for the ride. Jones' three-pointer stretched the Laker lead to 85-72 late in the quarter. Van Exel's follow shot in the lane at the buzzer maintained the 13-point lead.

* What You Won't Find in the Box Score: Much sign of Hawkins. After 20 points in Game 1, Hawkins has been muzzled. He had only 10 points in Game 2, and only five by the end of the quarter in Game 3.

* Winning Number: Jones' 25 points after three quarters established his playoff best.

* Wrong Number: O'Neal picked up his fourth foul with 5:30 left in the quarter. He didn't return until the fourth quarter.

* Leading Scorers: Lakers--Van Exel 9; SuperSonics--Baker 8.

* Leading Rebounders: Lakers--Elden Campbell 3; SuperSonics--Baker 4.

SUPERSONICS 103, LAKERS 119

* Highlight Reel: O'Neal spun around Sam Perkins, made the basket and drew a foul. Made the free throw too with 3:48 left. Another three-point play meant a 108-93 lead with 2:27 left.

* What You Won't Find in the Box Score: Any SuperSonic to effectively guard O'Neal. Schrempf (6 feet 10, 235 pounds compared to O'Neal's 7-1, 315) gave it a try down the stretch, but O'Neal had 30 points in only 33 minutes.

* Winning Number: O'Neal's 11 points in the quarter.

* Wrong Number: A 12-0 Seattle run cut 15-point deficit to 92-89 in less than three minutes.

* Leading Scorers: Lakers--O'Neal 11; SuperSonics--3 with 8.

* Leading Rebounders: Lakers--Corie Blount, O'Neal 3; SuperSonics--Baker, Schrempf 3.

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