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NBA PLAYOFFS / GAME 4, PHOENIX 117, LAKERS 98 | Game
4 Report

Charting the Lead: A look at the Lakers' lead or deficit by the minute

May 15, 2000|LONNIE WHITE

FIRST QUARTER

Lakers: 24

Phoenix: 38

Highlight Reel: Shaquille O'Neal rejected a layup by Penny Hardaway, took the rebound and passed to Brian Shaw, who tossed a half-court alley-oop pass to Kobe Bryant for a spectacular two-hand dunk.

It's Not in the Box Score: How often Phoenix pushed the ball upcourt even after Laker baskets. Guard Jason Kidd was the sparkplug for the Suns, who outran the sluggish Lakers for easy layups.

Winning Number: 23. The points Kidd accounted for in the quarter. Kidd scored seven points, including a three-point basket at the buzzer, and had eight assists.

Wrong Number: 14. The number of points the Suns led by as they outscored the Lakers by making 14 of 28 shots from the field.

Leading Scorers: Lakers: Bryant 8. Suns: Cliff Robinson 9.

Leading Rebounders: Lakers: O'Neal 5. Suns: Corie Blount, Kidd and Robinson each with 4.

SECOND QUARTER

Lakers: 48

Phoenix: 71

Highlight Reel: With O'Neal on the bench because of foul trouble, Glen Rice got the ball in the post and made a timely drop bounce pass to a slashing Bryant, who finished with a right-hand dunk.

It's Not in the Box Score: The force with which O'Neal knocked Robinson to the floor with no foul being called. A frustrated Robinson retaliated with a foul and also picked up a technical for complaining.

Winning Number: 21. The combined points scored by Kidd and Robinson in the quarter as they helped lead the Suns to 23-point lead at halftime.

Wrong Number: Zero. The number of free throws made by O'Neal in five attempts.

Leading Scorers: Lakers: Bryant 7. Suns: Robinson 12.

Leading Rebounders: Lakers: Robert Horry 5. Suns: Kidd 4.

THIRD QUARTER

Lakers: 71

Phoenix: 93

Highlight Reel: If anyone needed evidence as to how the Suns destroyed the Laker defense, Hardaway and Kidd provided it. Hardaway penetrated, made the Lakers scramble into the key to stop him and then found Kidd wide open in the corner for a three-point basket.

It's Not in the Box Score: How efficiently the Suns orchestrated their offense with Kidd as the conductor. The Lakers seemed as if they played a step behind all game, especially in this quarter, as Phoenix exposed their lack of foot speed.

Winning Number: 15. The number of assists Kidd had after three quarters.

Wrong Number: 29. The biggest lead held by the Suns, which also represented the most points the Lakers trailed by at any point all season.

Leading Scorers: Lakers: Glen Rice and Bryant each with 6. Suns: Kidd 6.

Leading Rebounders: Lakers: O'Neal and Rice each with 2. Suns: Robinson 4.

FOURTH QUARTER

Lakers: 98

Phoenix: 117

Highlight Reel: Give rookie Devean George more playing time and he'll provide spectacular plays such as the one he had early in the quarter. After Bryant missed a jumper, George powered through the lane with a rebound dunk.

It's Not in the Box Score: What was with Rick Fox? It didn't take long for the Laker reserve forward to get tossed from the game after getting two technicals for consecutive hard fouls on Robinson, who seemed amused by the attack.

Winning Number: Two. The number of timeouts called by Laker Coach Phil Jackson, the master of gamesmanship, over the final 30 seconds. Sun Coach Scott Skiles also called one during this time span.

Wrong Number: Zero. Minutes played in the quarter by Glen Rice, who missed 10 of 14 shots in the game.

Leading Scorers: Lakers: Brian Shaw and O'Neal each with 8. Suns: Rodney Rogers 9.

Leading Rebounders: Lakers: George 3. Suns: Kidd 2.

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