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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

If History Is Any Guide, Lakers Are Set

May 16, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

The Lakers were routed by the Phoenix Suns in Sunday's playoff game, 117-98. An omen for tonight's game? Not necessarily.

In 1985, the Lakers yielded 148 points to the Boston Celtics in the opening game of the NBA finals, an opponent's playoff record, and went on to win the series in six games.

In 1972, the Lakers were routed by the New York Knicks in the opening game of the championship series at the Forum, 114-92, before winning the next four games and the NBA title.

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Trivia time: How many holes in one were recorded on the PGA Tour in 1999, compared to double eagles?

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Eating progression: Nick Canepa in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "So the Bears' Curtis Enis shows up at camp and declares himself a fullback, not a tailback. Ingenious. Next year he can come in as a left tackle."

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Off the hook? Gary Shelton in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: "A topless dancer in Las Vegas says Mike Tyson hit her last week. In defense, Don King points out that the dancer was ranked No. 3 by the WBO."

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More Shelton: "Not that I suspect those IOC muckety-mucks of accepting anything, but didn't you half expect the $360-million lottery winner to be announced as Juan Antonio Samaranch?"

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Any suggestions? Jeff Hornacek, whose Utah Jazz have gone 0-4 on the road in the playoffs, despite alternating purple and black uniforms:

"We haven't won on the road yet. And I don't think we have another color uniform we can go to."

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Gouging? Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "The Portland Trail Blazers sell out their games, but they charged fans $24.95 to watch Game 2 of their playoff series against Utah on the local cable system.

"You can understand why Blazer owner Paul Allen needs the extra cash because he's down to his last $30 billion."

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Classy guy: Jack O'Connell of the Hartford Courant notes, "There is no end to Albert Belle's unpleasantness.

"When asked a question after the Orioles' dramatic victory over the New York Yankees last week in which he had the game-winning hit off Mariano Rivera, Belle responded by raising his middle finger."

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Looking back: On this day in 1976, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup for the 19th time with a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, capping a four-game sweep.

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Trivia answer: 27, to five double eagles.

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And finally: Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Broadcaster Tim McCarver, with theory No. 7,283 for baseball's home-run derby:

" 'The reason the ball is carrying so well is the deforestation of the Amazon basin down in Brazil.' "

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