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GAME 4 REPORT

Rocket Notes

Tomjanovich: Sky's the Limit

May 16, 1999|MARK HEISLER

If the Rockets thought to a man they'd been run over by Shaquille O'Neal and Co., they also think that any company that has Kobe Bryant in it must be pretty good.

"The first time I saw one of those video games," said Coach Rudy Tomjanovich, "they got these guys jumping over the basket, throwing 'em down like this--he and Kevin Garnett and [Vince] Carter and guys like that are the real thing as far as athletes.

"And the kid [Bryant] is so young. You're in awe at what's going to happen as these guys get older."

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Charles Barkley on O'Neal: "I've been saying for three or four years, Shaquille O'Neal is the most dominating player in the game. I just admire him and respect him. If he could ever make free throws, he'd be the greatest player ever.

"He's unstoppable. Dream [Hakeem Olajuwon] did the best he could. Antoine [Carr] did the best he could.

"I think the big key to the game was Kobe Bryant. He got off to a good start. The one thing about Shaquille, he's not in great shape. I know Shaquille gets tired a lot, if you watch him during the game.

"And when Kobe got off to a great start, he [O'Neal] had a lot of energy left for the fourth quarter."

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Scottie Pippen, on the difference between the Lakers now and the team that lost here by 22 points on April 26:

"I can see a big difference. I think Kobe has settled in a little bit, to some degree, and has started looking to be less aggressive offensively and using his aggression to help create for other players."

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