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THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO / RANDY HARVEY

Fisher, Horry Make Life Miserable for Rockets

May 12, 1999|RANDY HARVEY

All in all, it was one of the Lakers' better days.

Off the court, Jerry West declared for the second time since last summer that he's not leaving. West has always needed reassurance, even if he's the one doing the reassuring.

On the court, Derek Fisher looked like Jerry West. Fisher scored 20 points in the Lakers' 101-100 victory over Houston on Sunday, but the Rockets apparently still didn't believe he was real.

Truth be told, they weren't alone. But they are the ones he burned for another 16 points Tuesday night in the Lakers' 110-98 victory.

Although it's possible the Rockets have been surprised by Fisher, they shouldn't have been by another Laker who entered this series seeking redemption.

Robert Horry played a crucial role in the playoffs for the Rockets when they won NBA titles in 1994 and '95 and, if Tuesday night is an indication, he is ready to do that against them.

Concerned about who would guard Charles Barkley, the Lakers found the answer for at least one night. After J.R. Reid got into early foul trouble, Horry held Barkley to one field goal in the first 32 minutes.

Horry scored only six points, but the rest of his line was stellar. He had 10 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots.

The Rockets, who appeared so menacing only three days ago, suddenly look old (Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, Barkley), fat (Barkley, Stanley Roberts) and over their heads (Cuttino Mobley, Michael Dickerson).

The Rocket bench outscored the Laker bench Tuesday night, 62-29. Coach Rudy Tomjanovich might have felt better about that if his bench hadn't also outscored the Rocket starters, 62-36.

*

Eric Karros is a rare athlete who plays a better game than he talks. . . .

He proved last season when he played through a knee injury that he's a gamer, but he didn't sound like one after the Dodgers had lost two of three at home to the Florida Marlins. . . .

It's only May, he reminded reporters. . . .

Yeah, but as he apparently needs to be reminded, the games in May count as much as they do in September. . . .

And fans pay as much for tickets in May as they do in September. . . .

"I don't think Eric meant it like it came out," Dodger General Manager Kevin Malone said. "But I am concerned that, as Gary Sheffield pointed out, we seem lax at times. . . .

"This is a process. We can't change in 30 games the attitude that's been here for 10 years." . . .

With his 13 home runs, Raul Mondesi is six ahead of the pace Sammy Sosa set last season and only one behind Mark McGwire's 1998 pace. . . .

Let's hope the talk that Terry Collins might be in trouble in Anaheim is only talk. . . .

Considering the number of games that players such as Mo Vaughn, Randy Velarde, Gary DiSarcina, Jim Edmonds and now Tim Salmon have lost because of injuries, the Angels are overachieving by fielding nine players every game. . . .

I don't understand why so many people are bothered by the made-for-television match between David Duval and Tiger Woods. . . .

It's not a novel concept, as anyone who remembers the "Shell Wide World of Golf" program can tell you. . . .

If Duval and Woods are going to tee it up for $1 million, I want to see it. . . .

Atiana Cecilia De La Hoya, the 6-week-old daughter of Oscar De La Hoya and actress Shanna Moakler, was introduced to boxing writers during a news conference Tuesday at Big Bear. . . .

She can't spend her entire life surrounded by beautiful people. . . .

De La Hoya and his co-promoter, Bob Arum, have sent a contract to Felix Trinidad that would pay him $10 million plus a percentage of the pay-per-view take for a fight Sept. 18 in Las Vegas. . . .

One catch is that Trinidad's promoter, Don King, would have to remain in the wings while Arum runs the show. To buy King's silence, $10 million is a bargain. . . .

The 50th anniversary of the Hollywood Stars' 1949 pennant will be celebrated Saturday at the Carson Community Center during the annual Pacific Coast League Historical Society reunion. . . .

Three of the Stars' stars, Irv Noren, Chuck Stevens and George Genovese, will share their memories. . . .

Like today's Lakers, the Stars attracted some of the entertainment industry's leading celebrities, such as Clark Gable, Jack Benny, George Raft, George Burns, Robert Taylor and Ronald Reagan. . . .

How big a fan was Reagan? After breaking his ankle that summer, he ordered a television set delivered to his hospital room so he could watch the Stars. . . .

Even a future president had to pull serious strings to get that done in those days.

*

While wondering if Pete Gent could have guessed that "North Dallas Forty" would still be so sadly relevant a quarter of a century later, I was thinking: I'd be more impressed with Chris Webber's message if he'd thrown an elbow at Karl Malone instead of John Stockton, you're having a good month if you took guys named Bell in your rotisserie league, or Garciaparra.

Randy Harvey can be reached at his e-mail address: randy.harvey@latimes.com.

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