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NBA PLAYOFF CAPSULES

Western Conference Semifinals

May 05, 2003|Mark Heisler

Capsules by Mark Heisler; Research by Roy Jurgens

Statistics are from the regular season

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Lakers (5) vs. San Antonio(1)

*--* Season series: Spurs, 4-0 Series preview: Since the Lakers' 2001 sweep, they're convinced they own the Spurs, forgetting inconvenient details ... such as the Spurs sweeping them this season

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*--* Dallas (3) vs. Sacramento (2) Season series: Kings, 3-1 Series preview: The Mavericks, accused of being soft, caught themselves in mid-choke after blowing a 3-0 lead over the Trail Blazers and won a rough Game 7, with their big three and Nick Van Exel looking manly, at long last. However, Dallas still can't defend inside. Portland turned the series around posting up young Zach Randolph, who averaged 21 points, starting the last four games. The Kings attack inside as a matter of course. The Kings are one of the few teams that can play the Mavericks' game and outscore them. The Kings defend. The Kings beat the Mavericks last spring, 4-1. Oh, and the Kings have been resting for five days Key injuries: DAL: Popeye Jones (ankle). SAC: None Fast facts: With their Game 7 victory over the Trail Blazers, Dallas avoided becoming the first team in NBA history to lose a series after being up, 3-0. In 45 of the 80 regular-season games he has played in, King guard Doug Christie has held his starting defensive assignment to less than his scoring average MATCHUPS DAL SAC Points per game 103.0 101.7 Opp. points per game 95.2 95.2 Shooting % 45.3 46.2 Opp. shooting % 43.8 42.0 Total rebounds 42.1 44.5 Opp. total rebounds 45.4 45.8 Three-point % 38.1 38.1 Opp. three-point % 34.0 32.0 Free-throw % 82.9 74.6 Assists 22.4 24.8 Steals 8.1 9.0 Blocks 5.5 5.6 Prediction: It'll be harder this spring but just a little: Kings, 4-1. The Mavericks' big chance is to get Game 1 before the Kings get back into it

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