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LAKER REPORT

Horry Has No Question About Status

April 21, 2002|TIM BROWN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Power forward Robert Horry, who missed parts of the Lakers' last two regular-season games because of bleeding beneath his abdomen, is expected to play today against the Portland Trail Blazers.

While the club's official statement was that Horry remained questionable for the game, Horry and Coach Phil Jackson both said otherwise.

"We anticipate he's going to be able to play," Jackson said.

The task now is gauging Horry's minutes, and whether fatigue will make him more vulnerable to re-injury.

Horry averaged 10.3 points and 5.8 rebounds in four regular-season games against the Trail Blazers.

*

If this is Lakers vs. Trail Blazers, then that must be Kobe vs. Ruben.

Kobe Bryant tries to score, Ruben Patterson defends him aggressively, and then everybody talks about it. Ruben, especially.

The question was if Bryant would play to prove Patterson wrong, which the Trail Blazers would love.

"Not so much to prove him wrong," Bryant said. "He knows he's wrong. I don't think there's one person who believes they can stop me."

While granting Patterson "challenges me very well," Bryant grew weary of the conversation by the second or third question.

"I think it's silly," he said. "He's a good defender. Like I said, there's certain possessions he gets the better of me. There are possessions I get the better of him."

Why, then, would Patterson believe he is the Kobe Stopper?

Bryant shrugged.

"He doesn't."

*

The paranoia was plenty thick in the Trail Blazer locker room Saturday afternoon.

During a short media access period, assistant coach Dan Panaggio accused a reporter of studying the plays he was drawing on a large board in black marker, and ordered the reporter to turn his back.

When the reporter--one of about three dozen milling around in the locker room, and engaged with Scottie Pippen in an interview--refused, Panaggio appeared to become angry.

"Stop looking!" he snapped. "You're looking at our plays! Look the other way! Look the other way!"

OK then.

By the way, according to the secret board, at some point in today's game Pippen is going to pass the ball to Rasheed Wallace, who is going to shoot it.

*

Rick Fox, on the Kobe Stopper: "Kobe doesn't spend his days talking about Ruben. I'd like to see [Patterson] stop him from coming to the games. That would impress me. Kobe keeps coming to the games."

*

Fox, on how Horry looked in Saturday's light practice: "He needs a haircut. Other than that he looks pretty good."

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