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SACRAMENTO VS. LAKERS | Charting the Lead: A look at
the Lakers' lead or deficit by the minute

Game 7 Report

June 03, 2002|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | Times Staff Writer

First Quarter


Highlight reel: After a while, the din inside Arco Arena is simply meaningless. Crowd noise isn't going to settle this thing. That DMV worker in the 10th row behind the basket or that waiter in the 12th row behind the Laker bench with the cowbell isn't going to stop Shaquille O'Neal or Kobe Bryant any more than they're going to guide a jumper from Mike Bibby or Chris Webber into the basket.

Not in the box score: The heart rates of the 10 players and three refs to start the game. Everyone seemed a little too eager at the start. Shots missed the mark. Passes had too much on them. Fouls were harder than they needed to be.

Winning numbers: O'Neal's three-for-four shooting.

Wrong numbers: Bryant's three-for-nine shooting.

Leading scorers: Lakers--O'Neal 7, Bryant 6; Kings--Bibby 7, Webber 6.

Leading rebounders: Lakers--O'Neal and Rick Fox 4; Kings--Vlade Divac 5, Doug Christie 2.


Second Quarter


Highlight reel: The Kings went on a 10-3 run to build a 47-42 lead late in the quarter. The Lakers closed within two by halftime, sending a message back to the Kings. The Lakers were not going to disappear. They would tail the Kings to the concession stands, if necessary, if it meant staying in touch before the final buzzer.

Not in the box score: The tension began to build, and there's no sign of it troubling either team. They're circling for the moment, looking for a weakness, trying anything to land a knockout blow. There are none forthcoming, however. It's tighter than imaginable. And there's still a half to be played.

Winning number: Bryant had 19 shots by halftime.

Wrong number: Bryant made only eight.

Leading scorers: Lakers--Bryant 12, O'Neal 11; Kings--Webber and Bobby Jackson 8.

Leading rebounders: Lakers--Bryant 4, Fox 2; Kings--Webber and Peja Stojakovic 3.


Third Quarter


Highlight reel: Divac picked up his fourth foul with 5:29 to play. The Kings led, 65-58, at that point, but the lead didn't last. Bryant made one of two free throws, then swished a three-pointer and fed Slava Medvedenko (!) for an easy layup. Suddenly, Bryant had led the Lakers within 65-64. Pulling away from the Lakers would be harder to do than the Kings could ever have imagined.

Not in the box score: Much of anything from Webber. He took one shot and made it. He did have four assists, so it wasn't as if he wasn't handling the ball. He was looking to pass instead of shoot- ing, though, and you had to wonder about it.

Winning numbers: Two fouls against O'Neal and none against Bryant.

Wrong numbers: The Kings' three-for-nine free-throw shooting.

Leading scorers: Lakers--Bryant 6, O'Neal and Fox 4; Kings--Hedo Turkoglu 6, Divac 5.

Leading rebounders: Lakers--Fox 5, Horry 3; Kings--Christie and Divac 3.


Fourth Quarter


Highlight reel: Bibby is in the playoffs for the first time, but it sure didn't seem that way. Without him, the Kings would have been lost. He scored 10 of their last 12 points, making jumpers after coming around screens. The Lakers never caught on to the play and paid a steep price in getting forced to overtime.

Not in the box score: Points from Christie. He was a factor on both ends of the floor during this series, but perhaps his dogged play against Bryant had taken its toll. He was never in a position to take a shot. He missed an open three-pointer, his only attempt of this quarter.

Winning number: Bibby's tying free throws came with 8.2 seconds left, the same time on the clock for his winning jumper in Game 5.

Wrong number: Divac's sixth foul with 46.3 to play.

Leading scorers: Lakers--Horry 8, O'Neal 7; Kings--Bibby 12.

Leading rebounders: Lakers--O'Neal 6, Horry 3; Kings--Jackson 3, Turkoglu 2.




Highlight reel: Nothing spectacular. The Lakers plugged away, made their free throws, muzzled the Kings for the last 2:17 and lived to play another day. Bibby ended the game by scoring 14 of the Kings' last 18 points, a rare display of imbalance that hurt in the end.

Not in the box score: Bibby and Webber were the only Kings to score in overtime, giving them a predictable look that the Lakers easily contained down the stretch. The Kings ran the pick-and-roll again and again and the Lakers finally caught on. The Lakers must play it better when they face the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals. Scary thought: Jason Kidd is even better with the ball than Bibby.

Winning numbers: The Lakers' eight-for-eight free-throw shooting.

Wrong numbers: The Kings' three-for-12 shooting from the field.

Leading scorers: Lakers--O'Neal 6, Derek Fisher 4; Kings--Bibby 4, Webber 2.

Leading rebounders: Lakers--Horry, Bryant 2; Kings--Christie, Turkoglu 2.

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