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SERIES REPORT

Notes

May 19, 2000|LONNIE WHITE

If there is an X factor for Portland against the Lakers, it may be the play of point guard Damon Stoudamire. Backcourt quickness and penetration has exposed the Laker defense throughout the playoffs and Stoudamire is more than ready to do some more.

"Playing the Lakers will give me a chance to do [my thing]," said Stoudamire, who has yet to have a breakout scoring game in the playoffs. "This series is one that I can get back into doing the things that I do and I'm looking forward to that."

After averaging 12.5 points and being second on the team in field-goal attempts during the regular season, Stoudamire is averaging only 9.8 points and is fifth in team field-goal attempts in the playoffs. But that's mainly because the Trail Blazers asked him to take a more reserved role in the first two postseason rounds against Minnesota and Utah.

"A lot of the things that I do are some of the areas the Lakers are not as strong at," said Stoudamire, who plans to pick his spots to drive inside and challenge O'Neal.

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After hearing Jackson's comments about his importance in the series, Portland forward Scottie Pippen said Jackson is only trying to get into his head.

"We're not going to buy into that," said Pippen, who won six championship rings playing under Jackson with Chicago. "I was always on his side before and I never looked at how he used those tactics on other teams."

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