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Kings triumph over Lakers

L.A. loses Game 3, leads series

Posted: Monday, May 01, 2000

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Shaquille O'Neal lost his shooting touch. Kobe Bryant was slowed by foul trouble. And, suddenly, the mighty Los Angeles Lakers were not invincible.

Chris Webber scored 29 points and Tony Delk provided 11 and a spark off the bench as the Sacramento Kings beat the Lakers 99-91 Sunday to stay alive in the playoffs.

The Lakers won the first two games by comfortable margins in Los Angeles. Game 4 in the best-of-five series is Tuesday at Sacramento.

O'Neal had 21 points and 17 rebounds, but went 8-for-22 from the field and 5-for-14 from the foul line. Bryant, who picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter, had 16 of his 35 points in the fourth, many after the outcome was decided.

Predrag Stojakovic had 19 points as the Kings' self-proclaimed ''Bench Mob,'' which had little success in the first two games of the series, outscored the Lakers' reserves 34-11.

Delk played most of the fourth quarter instead of Jason Williams, who scored 10 points but made several poor passes early in the game.

The Kings still face a tough task as they try to upset the best team in the NBA this season. Only 12 teams have won a series after trailing 2-0, none since the Houston Rockets in 1995.

Knicks 87, Raptors 80

TORONTO -- It's on to Miami for New York, which got a lucky 3-pointer from Larry Johnson and swept Toronto.

Johnson banked in a 3-pointer with 24.2 seconds left in the first NBA playoff game played outside the United States.

The Knicks and Heat will now renew their postseason rivalry for the fourth straight season, each of the teams coming off first-round sweeps.

The Knicks had to work hard for this one, just as they did in the first two games of the series, and the difference came down to which team could sink the key shots in the final minute.

Allan Houston, who led New York with 23 points, made the first one when he hit a 21-foot jumper with 44 seconds left for an 82-78 lead. After a pair of foul shots by Antonio Davis, Johnson made the next big play.

His 3-pointer slammed off the backboard and went right through the net without touching the rim, and Johnson pointed his fist at his right elbow -- his ''Big L'' gesture that has returned to fashion after a one-year absence. Only this time, the ''L'' might just as well have stood for ''lucky'' instead of ''Larry.''

Vince Carter and Dee Brown missed shots on Toronto's next possession, and Chris Childs locked up the victory by making two foul shots with 11.8 seconds left.

Carter had another below-par game, with 15 points on 5-for-17 shooting.

Houston had his highest-scoring game of the series, while Johnson added 14 points.

Davis led the Raptors with 18 points.

The biggest statistical difference was in 3-point shooting, as New York went 9-for-16 and Toronto was 3-for-21.

Timberwolves 94,

Trail Blazers 87

MINNEAPOLIS -- Terrell Brandon scored 28 points and shut down Damon Stoudamire as the Minnesota Timberwolves staved off elimination with a 94-87 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Brandon helped hold Stoudamire, his pal from their hometown of Portland, to two free throws, 14 points below his playoff average.

Kevin Garnett, who has just two triple-doubles in five NBA seasons, had his second triple-double in a week with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as the Wolves pulled to 2-1 in the best-of-five series.

Only four teams have overcome a 2-0 deficit since 1984, when the league adopted the best-of-five format for the first round of the playoffs.

Playing just their second home game in three weeks, the Wolves did what they couldn't do in Portland: stifle Scottie Pippen (16 points), execute down the stretch and curb their mistakes against the more experienced Blazers.

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