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Chance for Reserves to Shine

March 25, 2001|LARRY STEWART

An injury-depleted Laker team will face Pacific Division rival Sacramento twice in the next four days, including today's nationally televised game. There also is a game at Phoenix on Monday.

"I look at it as a great opportunity for our team," Coach Phil Jackson said Saturday after practice. "It's an opportunity for some of our guys to get some playing time, an opportunity for us to play better, to become a better team. I look at it as a positive."

Kobe Bryant, out because of an ankle injury, won't even make the trip to Sacramento, and forward Robert Horry is still bothered by a stiff neck. Asked if he would play today, Horry said, "I hope so."

Jackson said the Lakers need Horry because forward Horace Grant, who will be banging with the Kings' Chris Webber today, is not 100% either.

"He sprained an ankle against Orlando [a week ago] and there's still some swelling," Jackson said.

Two players Jackson is counting on today are Isiah "J.R." Rider and Devean George. Rider played 25 minutes and scored eight points against Washington on Friday night. George played 23 minutes and also had eight points.


Shaquille O'Neal spent Friday with his friend, rapper Ice Cube, and an NBC crew tagged along to tape a two-part feature that will be shown during the halftime periods of the two games on NBC today.

In other television news, Jackson can be seen on two networks Tuesday. He will be on "60 Minutes II" on CBS at 9 p.m. and then will be a guest of Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" on NBC. It will be Jackson's first appearance on Leno's show.

Why all the TV time? Jackson's new book, "More Than a Game," comes out later this week.


at Sacramento

3:30, Channel 4

* Site--Arco Arena.

* Radio--KLAC (570).

* Records--Lakers 46-23, Kings 46-21.

* Record vs. Kings--2-0.

* Update--The Lakers have won their last two games at Arco Arena and nine of their last 11 there. In a game at Arco Arena on Nov. 16, with Chris Webber sidelined because of a sprained ankle, the Lakers won, 112-110, in overtime. The Lakers defeated the Kings again, 100-94, at Staples Center on Feb. 4 without Shaquille O'Neal. The Laker defense will be tested. The Kings have reached 100 points or more 40 times this season.

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