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SPORTS
June 19, 2001 | From Associated Press
With Tiger Woods out of contention, NBC's weekend ratings for the U.S. Open dropped dramatically while its coverage of the NBA Finals produced increased audiences. Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers had an 11.2 rating and 22 share, a 12% increase over last year's 10.0 and 20 share for Game 5 between the Lakers and Indiana Pacers. For the five-game Finals, NBC averaged a 12.1 rating and 22 share, a 4% increase over the 11.
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NEWS
June 18, 2001 | Tim Brown
February was the only full month of the season in which the Lakers did not lose to the Seattle SuperSonics. It was the only full month in which they did not play the SuperSonics. While the O'Neal-Bryant feud simmered, O'Neal sat out six games--the last three of January and the first three of February--because of a sore arch in his right foot. Bryant sat out three games in late February because of a sprained right ankle. "I'm still upset about how the first half went," O'Neal said.
SPORTS
June 17, 2001 | RICH HOFMANN, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS
He was born here and he was raised here. He got married here and he got wealthy here. Pat Croce is about here, about Philadelphia--which explains most of this. Or, as Croce would say on the final night of the ride, "It's just a special thing. The fans have been so special. They've been great all year. They were great tonight--such class tonight, such character." The 76ers' season had been over for 15 minutes or so. Croce, the team president, was basking in both the sadness and the glow.
NEWS
June 16, 2001 | LONNIE WHITE and DAVID WHARTON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The Lakers, cementing a new reign as the best team in basketball, claimed their second straight National Basketball Assn. championship Friday night with a decisive Game 5 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. At First Union Center in Philadelphia, the team capped an often tumultuous season by defeating the 76ers, 108-96.
NEWS
June 16, 2001 | Lonnie White
The beat-up Philadelphia 76ers learned a valuable lesson in losing to the Lakers in five games, and that's if you want to be a champion it's best that you take the shortest route possible to reach the Finals. With their gas tank basically empty, the 76ers came up short against the Lakers in Game 5 on Friday. In the first three playoff rounds, Philadelphia needed 18 games compared to the Lakers, who advanced in only 11.
NEWS
June 16, 2001 | BILL PLASCHKE
A Hollywood axiom was dumped on its blow-dried head here Friday by a team more about scars than sunsets, with a spirit thick enough to be imprinted on a sidewalk. Sequels never work? This one did. About midnight here, the final credits were dragged across the First Union Center floor by the rumbling, swaggering, champagne-soaked and howling Lakers. The NBA Championship Returns.
NEWS
June 16, 2001 | SHAUN POWELL, NEWSDAY
Many years from now, when the 2001 NBA Finals are ready for reflection, you hope he'll be more than a footnote. The newsreels will undoubtedly show Shaquille O'Neal scattering the 76er defense like so many bowling pins. The yellow newspapers from the dusty archives will explain how Kobe Bryant came home and conquered. The record books will note the Lakers, and the way they seared through the playoffs at near-epic pace. All well and good. But they shouldn't forget Larry from Long Island.
NEWS
June 16, 2001 | PAUL WESTPHAL, Paul Westphal, coach of the Pepperdine basketball team and a former NBA all-star and coach of the Phoenix Suns and Seattle SuperSonics, will analyze the NBA Finals for The Times, as told to Steve Henson
I think it would have been a great series. The Lakers really would have been pushed. The 76ers? Forget them. There was plenty of time to daydream watching the Lakers close out the series, and my thoughts went back to the Boston Celtics with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. The Lakers with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy. The Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. How do these Lakers stack up?
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