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GAME 2 REPORT | CHARTING THE LEAD: A look at the Lakers'
lead or deficit by the minute

First Quarter

May 12, 1999

Highlight Reel: Shaquille O'Neal had Hakeem Olajuwon backed so low in the post that the Rocket center was under the Laker basket. After taking an entry pass, O'Neal spun to his right and gave Olajuwon a taste of his own medicine by banking in a shot while being fouled. O'Neal completed the play with an awkward backward somersault, scaring the fans at courtside.

What You Won't Find in the Box Score: The Rockets must not have watched Derek Fisher during pregame warmups. Fisher made one pregame shot after another, took the court with a confident look and made three three-pointers while scoring 11 first-quarter points.

Winning Number: 12. After holding Houston to only 15 first-quarter points in Game 1, the Lakers held the Rockets to 12 in Game 2.

Wrong Number: One. The number of shots taken by Glen Rice, who made his only attempt of the quarter.

Leading Scorers: Lakers: Fisher 11; Rockets: Olajuwon 4.

Leading Rebounders: Lakers: Kobe Bryant and Robert Horry, 4 each; Rockets: Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley and Olajuwon, 3 each.


Highlight Reel: Brent Price, who has made his reputation as a spot-up jump shooter, normally doesn't get much notice because he's one-dimensional. But the Rocket guard made the play of the quarter when, while falling awkwardly through the lane, he somehow banked in a hook shot.

What You Won't Find in the Box Score: The energy and playground-like effort of Bryant. As if he were playing on Venice Beach, Bryant took over during a key stretch with a full-court drive that ended with him tipping in his own shot. Moments later, he found Rice for an open three-point basket.

Winning Number: Two. After being shut out for much of the first half, Rice was finally found by his teammates and he responded with two long-range baskets late in the quarter.

Wrong Number: 28-18. The Rocket reserves outscored the Laker reserves by 20 points.

Leading Scorers: Lakers: Bryant 8; Rockets: Sam Mack 11.

Leading Rebounders: Lakers: O'Neal 4; Rockets: Othella Harrington 4.


Highlight Reel: Because of the Lakers' offensive flash, their defense is often overlooked. But a play that Horry made on Olajuwon is the type that wins championships. Olajuwon had just sidestepped Bryant and appeared ready to take out his foul-trouble frustration with a vicious dunk when Horry seemed to appear out of nowhere to block the attempt.

What You Won't Find in the Box Score: For nearly three minutes, the Great Western Forum crowd partied during a timeout after the Lakers built a 21-point lead. Fisher and Rice had made consecutive three-point baskets and the Forum rocked like it was the '80s.

Winning Number: Zero. After being held to only three first-half points, Houston's Scottie Pippen did not score in the third quarter, missing both of his shots.

Wrong Number: Nine. Houston may want to give Mack more minutes early in Game 3. After scoring 11 points in the second quarter, the hot-shooting swingman scored nine in the third.

Leading Scorers: Lakers: O'Neal 6; Rockets: Barkley 12.

Leading Rebounders: Lakers: Rice 3; Rockets: Barkley 6.


Highlight Reel: Not much highlight material to work with, but down the line the Lakers probably will need O'Neal to make fourth-quarter free throws. On Tuesday, with the Lakers holding a commanding lead and an empty chair waiting for him on the bench, O'Neal made two in a row and left the game to a standing ovation moments later.

What You Won't Find in the Box Score: After a brief confrontation with Houston's Charles Barkley, Laker veteran Derek Harper waved his hand as if to say that Barkley was all mouth and no action. The Forum crowd responded with an anti-Barkley chant.

Winning Number: 12. All 12 Lakers got into the game, and all took at least one shot.

Wrong Number: 32-17. Houston's edge in free-throw attempts. Although the Lakers won comfortably, they will have to get to the line more often, especially at home, if they are to win the NBA title.

Leading Scorers: Lakers: O'Neal 11; Rockets: Price 6.

Leading Rebounders: Lakers: O'Neal, Rice and Travis Knight, 2 each; Rockets: Barkley 4.

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