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SPORTS EXTRA / NBA PLAYOFFS | Insight

Breaking down some of the key elements of the Laker-Portland series

May 29, 2000|LONNIE WHITE

Ever wonder how Portland has so many "homemade" signs in the Rose Garden? It is because fans are able to draw up their own in the lobby before games, courtesy of the Trail Blazers.

They range from funny, such as "Hey Ref, give Phil his own whistle," to supportive, such as "Rasheed: You can stare at me any time." Portland fans were also treated to a Jack Nicholson look-alike, who changed from Laker gear to Trail Blazer red and black.

The confidence the Lakers started the second half with was too much for the Trail Blazers, who seemed tight. Glen Rice then made sure Portland did not get a chance to get into rhythm with some deadly shooting early in the third quarter.

Rice made four of six shots and scored 12 points in only 10 minutes to spark the Lakers to a dominant 34-19 third quarter. Kobe Bryant made three of four shots, Ron Harper three of five and Shaquille O'Neal two of three. The Lakers shot 70% in the quarter.

Whenever Scottie Pippen and Bryant go head to head, it's a joy to watch. Pippen held a major edge early as he dominated the boards and gave the Lakers trouble with his quickness on defense.

But by halfway through the second quarter, Bryant was in high gear and finished the half with nine points compared to Pippen's seven.

In the third quarter, Pippen was pretty quiet and Bryant continued his hot shooting to help the Lakers take a 10-point lead heading into the fourth. In the final period, Pippen was held scoreless as the Lakers used Glen Rice along with Bryant to defend him.

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TALE OF THE TAPE

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46 Minutes 44 18 Points 11 5-15 Field goals 4-12 2-3 3-pt. field goals 0-4 4 Rebounds 10 7 Assists 2 3 Turnovers 5 2 Steals 3

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