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Lakers' lead or deficit by the minute

Game 3 Report

June 11, 2004|Lonnie White | TIMES STAFF WRITER



Highlight reel: Kobe Bryant may have had the last laugh in Game 2, but the Pistons' Richard Hamilton dominated this matchup early by outscoring his high school rival, 8-0, in the quarter. Hamilton's nonstop energy left Bryant in his tracks as he led Detroit to a strong start.

Not in the box score: With the Pistons applying fullcourt pressure defense from the opening tipoff, the pace of the game was quick but choppy. The Lakers struggled to get into a flow and gave up eight unanswered points to Detroit to start the game.

Winning number: 12. Minutes played in the quarter by Karl Malone, who made a game-time decision to play after suffering a right knee injury in Game 2.

Wrong number: Zero. Points scored in the quarter by Bryant, who forced shots and turned the ball over the first five times he touched the ball. Bryant was 0 for 3 from the field.

Leading scorers: Lakers -- Shaquille O'Neal 6, Devean George 5, Malone 3, Derek Fisher 2; Pistons -- Hamilton 8, Tayshaun Prince 5, Chauncey Billups 4, Ben Wallace 3, Rasheed Wallace and Elden Campbell 2.

Leading rebounders: Lakers -- Malone 3, O'Neal 2; Pistons -- Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace 4, Hamilton 3.




Highlight reel: The Pistons would have run the Lakers off the floor in the first half if not for O'Neal's inside scoring. With Detroit trying an assortment of defenders on him, O'Neal powered his way to 12 points, including two baskets as a result of his own offensive rebounds.

Not in the box score: How the Pistons tried to double-team O'Neal from the baseline after single-covering him most of the first two games. But after O'Neal began to show his power, Detroit began to send a second defender in an attempt to block O'Neal's drop-step move.

Winning number: 22. The combined points scored in the half by the Pistons' starting backcout (Hamilton and Billups), compared with one point for the Lakers' starting guards (Bryant and Gary Payton).

Wrong number: 71. The points scored in the first half by the Lakers and Pistons, who struggled to play with any rhythm because of poor shooting and strong defensive play from both teams.

Leading scorers: Lakers -- O'Neal 6, George 3, Kareem Rush, Slava Medvedenko and Fisher 2; Pistons -- Hamilton 6, Corliss Williamson 4, Billups 4.

Leading rebounders: Lakers -- O'Neal 4, Bryant 3, Medvedenko 2; Pistons -- Ben Wallace 3, Lindsey Hunter, Campbell and Williamson 2.




Highlight reel: Throughout the Finals, Billups has done a number on Payton, and he left the Lakers' veteran point guard clutching for air when he drove around a pick for a crafty layup, which turned into a three-point play when Billups was fouled by Malone.

Not in the box score: How the more active Pistons continued to find one teammate after another alone under the basket as a result of making an extra pass and forcing the Lakers' slow-reacting defense to rotate.

Winning number: 12. Offensive rebounds in three quarters by the Pistons, who again dominated the boards. The Lakers had only three offensive rebounds after three quarters.

Wrong number: Zero. Free throws shot in the quarter by the Lakers, who did a lot of standing around and looking at O'Neal rather than attacking the basket. The Lakers took only 13 free throws overall, making eight.

Leading scorers: Lakers -- Bryant 6, Fisher 5, Luke Walton and O'Neal 2; Pistons -- Billups 9, Hamilton 7, Prince 4.

Leading rebounders: Lakers -- Medvedenko 3, Brian Cook 2; Pistons -- Rasheed Wallace 5, Ben Wallace 2.




Highlight reel: Former Lakers Campbell and Hunter got a chance to show up their old team with a couple of hustle plays. Hunter blocked shots, grabbed rebounds and played suffocating defense while Campbell punctuated his all-around effort with a steal and fastbreak dunk to the delight of the Pistons' home fans.

Not in the box score: After Detroit took an insurmountable 20-point lead early in the quarter, Laker Coach Phil Jackson called timeout and turned his back on his players walking off the court.

Winning number: 31. Points scored in the game by Hamilton, who played like a person determined to finally beat Bryant, who struggled offensively most of the night.

Wrong number: 16. Turnovers committed in the game by the Lakers, led by Bryant (4) and Fisher (3). Detroit turned the ball over only 11 times.

Leading scorers: Lakers -- Rush 6, Bryant 4; Pistons -- Hamilton 10, Mehmet Okur, Billups, Ben Wallace, Williamson and Darvin Ham 2.

Leading rebounders: Lakers -- Medvedenko and Payton 2; Pistons -- Hunter 5, Okur and Prince 4, Hamilton 2.

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