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SERIES REPORT | Laker's Notes

Jackson Looks to Apply Some Real Pressure

May 22, 2000|TIM KAWAKAMI

If the Lakers can grab a 2-0 series lead tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers, even though it would only mean holding serve at home, pressure cannot help but build on the trailing team, Coach Phil Jackson said Sunday.

"We felt that if we could hold our own here, it just reverts all the pressure again and sets it up because there's a limited amount of games and you really have to play well to go through the rest of the series to win," Jackson said.

"You have to win four out of five. From that standpoint, we know that this is our job . . . do what we've done all year and that's play well on our home court, provide that advantage for us."

In last season's Western Conference finals with San Antonio, Portland lost two taut games in San Antonio to start the series, then collapsed at the Rose Garden and lost the series, 4-0.

Including the postseason, the Lakers are 43-5 at home this season and have not lost a meaningful game at Staples since Portland won Jan. 22.

Kobe Bryant said the Lakers know that it would take only one Trail Blazer victory at Staples to change the tone of the series.

"It's just one game," Bryant said of the Lakers' Game 1 victory. "All they're trying to do is come out of here sneaking out one [of the first two Laker home games].

"We did our job by defending our home court. But they still have one more game to go. If they get that one game, it'll change the momentum."

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Jackson said it wasn't shocking for him to see Portland's Rasheed Wallace draw his second technical foul Saturday merely for staring at official Ron Garretson--Jackson said he once got one exactly the same way.

"Yes, I've gotten one before, as a coach," Jackson said. "And it wasn't after I mouthed off or did anything else.

"It was just watching the ensuing action and looking at a referee, not call the call but watching him as he ran by me on the bench and he called a technical."

Jackson, though, said he was surprised Wallace, who set an NBA record for technical fouls this season, got himself thrown out of a Western Conference final game.

"That's the first time he's taken himself out of a game against us this year," Jackson said. "So I was surprised."

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Jackson held a short and light practice on Sunday, keeping the players on court only about 45 minutes, working on a few specific issues about the offense.

"We went through some things we want to try and do better in Game 2," forward Glen Rice said, "rebound a little bit better, get our transition offense working a little bit better for us."

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