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L.A., Philly get even

Posted: Monday, May 12, 2003

LOS ANGELES The three-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers won a most difficult game without coach Phil Jackson.

Considering what he's been through recently, maybe it's good Jackson stayed home to avoid further stress, although it couldn't have been easy watching the Lakers' 99-95 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on television Sunday.

Let's say if he survived this, he's OK,'' said assistant Jim Cleamons, who filled in for Jackson. Jackson missed the game after undergoing an angioplasty Saturday to unblock an artery leading to his heart.

The Lakers won by scoring the game's final six points on two free throws by Shaquille O'Neal and four by Kobe Bryant to even the Western Conference semifinals 2-2.

Game 5 will be played Tuesday night in San Antonio and Game 6 Thursday night at Staples Center.

That's the heart of a champion,'' Bryant said. We don't budge, we know that. You knock us down, we get back up. We find a way to win.''

As far as playing without Jackson was concerned, Bryant said: We just look at it as another obstacle. We thrive in these types of situations.''

Bryant led the Lakers with 35 points, shooting 10-of-24 from the floor and 14-for-17 from the foul line. He also had a key steal, picking off an inbound pass by Tony Parker with 14.2 seconds left and the Lakers leading 98-95.

I just wanted to get in the passing lane,'' Bryant said. I saw the ball in my path and just went for it.''

O'Neal had 29 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots. He made 17 of 23 free throws.

I thought he did an incredible job at the foul line,'' said San Antonio's Tim Duncan, who did pretty well himself, making 16 of 20 free throws.

Duncan shot 10-for-17 from the field in scoring 36 points. He also had nine rebounds and five assists.

Jackson, whose teams have won a record 25 straight playoff series and nine championships, missed the first postseason game of his 13-year career as an NBA head coach. He had experienced tightness and pain in his chest for about a week. Jackson was released from the hospital about 2 1/2 hours before Sunday's game.

Cleamons said he spoke with Jackson before the game, at halftime and afterward.

From the sound of his voice, he sounded strong, like he was OK,'' Cleamons said. I'm hopeful he'll travel with us to San Antonio tomorrow and be on the bench Tuesday night.''

That decision will be made Monday.

I put it in perspective. Before the game, I asked myself, Would I come to work if I went through what Phil went through?''' Lakers guard Brian Shaw said. He called us at halftime and told us what adjustments to make. We followed his lead. He was calm, and we stayed calm.''

Derek Fisher added 17 points for the Lakers. Stephen Jackson had 15 points and a playoff career high 10 rebounds and Parker scored 14 for the Spurs.

We had a pretty good shot. It didn't happen,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. I'm very pleased with the way we competed. We just have to stay confident and take care of business at home.''

Stephen Jackson's 3-pointer with 1:31 remaining capped a 6-0 run and gave the Spurs a 95-93 lead, but the Spurs wouldn't score again.

O'Neal made two free throws 14 seconds later to tie it, and after the Spurs committed a turnover, Bryant made a free throw with 48 seconds left to put the Lakers ahead for good.

Stephen Jackson missed a 3-pointer with 24 seconds to go, forcing the Spurs to foul. They got to Bryant with 14.2 seconds left, and he made two more foul shots, making it 98-95.

Bryant then stole Parker's inbound pass and added another free throw to complete the scoring.

We let this game get away from us,'' Stephen Jackson said. This is one we definitely should have had.''

The Spurs led 64-55 when Duncan went to the bench with 2:54 left in the third quarter after picking up his fourth foul on Bryant.

Duncan would say afterward he didn't touch Bryant.

The Lakers quickly took advantage, outscoring the Spurs 16-3 for a 71-67 lead. Bryant had six points, Fisher four, and Devean George and Shaw made 3-pointers, with Shaw banking his in from about 30 feet as the period ended.

That was similar to what happened with Duncan on the bench at the end of the second quarter.

He picked up his third foul with 3:37 left and the Spurs holding a 43-27 lead the largest of the game for either team. The Lakers then outscored the Spurs 12-3 to finish the half, making it 46-39.

Iverson had 36 points and 11 assists Sunday night, giving Philadelphia one major, distinct advantage a player who could create with the ball as the 76ers evened their second-round series 2-2 by beating Detroit 95-82 Sunday night.

Chauncey Billups returned to the lineup for Detroit after missing two games, but the point guard shot just 1-for-6 and did not make a single drive to the basket all night.

Backup Chucky Atkins had all sorts of difficulty trying to defend Iverson, whose quickness allowed him to free himself for jumpers or to drive the lane or the baseline, draw extra defenders and create enough easy baskets to allow Philadelphia to maintain a comfortable lead throughout.

Iverson had his shot working, making jumpers on three straight possessions early in the fourth quarter to give Philadelphia a 70-56 lead. Iverson finished 13-for-27 from the field, and his 11 assists accounted for more than half of Philadelphia's total. He scored 15 in the final quarter.

The series will not resume until Wednesday night, giving Billups two days to rest his sore left ankle and Pistons coach Rick Carlisle the same amount of time to devise a strategy to neutralize Iverson.

Hamilton is the only Detroit defender who has had any luck staying close to Iverson while chasing him around, but he spent less time defending Iverson in this game than he did in the three previous ones.

That was likely a scheme to allow Hamilton to save his energy for the offensive end, where he was the only Detroit player with more than two field goals at the start of the fourth quarter.

Hamilton finished with 30 points and Atkins had 11 for Detroit. Ben Wallace grabbed 15 rebounds.

With their best player on the bench, Doug Christie had 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as the Kings calmly executed their game plan and evened their second-round series 2-2 by beating the Dallas Mavericks 99-83 Sunday night.

There was no panic by the Kings, who played on consecutive nights in the playoffs for the first time in the team's history in Sacramento. The game tipped off just under 22 hours after the Mavericks' dramatic 141-137 double-overtime win in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Game 5 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday in Dallas.

Christie established the energy early, and it rubbed off on his teammates. All five Sacramento starters scored in double figures and six players reached the mark in all, including Webber's replacement in the starting lineup, Hedo Turkoglu, who had 17 points.

Vlade Divac added 16 points and nine rebounds, and the fun-loving Kings were suddenly themselves again smiling as they walked off the court during timeouts and patting each other on the back of the head.

The Mavericks averaged 128.7 points through the first three games of the series, but they never got in sync against the Kings' pressure defense, which was the biggest difference in the outcome.

Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, who was averaging 27.6 points in the postseason, was held to 11, and he was ejected with 2:20 left for kicking a pile of towels after being whistled for a technical.

After that, the game got heated again. Bobby Jackson and Raja Bell both were tossed with 1:14 to go after shoving each other at midcourt.

Michael Finley and Bell each scored 16 points to lead Dallas, but the Mavs couldn't count on the players who had come through in the clutch a night earlier.

Dallas shot just 0-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half and finished 8-of-15, a night after making 19 of 42, an NBA playoff record for attempts.

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AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Los Angeles Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal, left, goes up for a shot as San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan looks up through the basket during the first half of Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, Sunday in Los Angeles.

By JOHN NADEL

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES The three-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers won a most difficult game without coach Phil Jackson.

Considering what he's been through recently, maybe it's good Jackson stayed home to avoid further stress, although it couldn't have been easy watching the Lakers' 99-95 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on television Sunday.

Let's say if he survived this, he's OK,'' said assistant Jim Cleamons, who filled in for Jackson. Jackson missed the game after undergoing an angioplasty Saturday to unblock an artery leading to his heart.

The Lakers won by scoring the game's final six points on two free throws by Shaquille O'Neal and four by Kobe Bryant to even the Western Conference semifinals 2-2.

Game 5 will be played Tuesday night in San Antonio and Game 6 Thursday night at Staples Center.

That's the heart of a champion,'' Bryant said. We don't budge, we know that. You knock us down, we get back up. We find a way to win.''

As far as playing without Jackson was concerned, Bryant said: We just look at it as another obstacle. We thrive in these types of situations.''

Bryant led the Lakers with 35 points, shooting 10-of-24 from the floor and 14-for-17 from the foul line. He also had a key steal, picking off an inbound pass by Tony Parker with 14.2 seconds left and the Lakers leading 98-95.

I just wanted to get in the passing lane,'' Bryant said. I saw the ball in my path and just went for it.''

O'Neal had 29 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots. He made 17 of 23 free throws.

I thought he did an incredible job at the foul line,'' said San Antonio's Tim Duncan, who did pretty well himself, making 16 of 20 free throws.

Duncan shot 10-for-17 from the field in scoring 36 points. He also had nine rebounds and five assists.

Jackson, whose teams have won a record 25 straight playoff series and nine championships, missed the first postseason game of his 13-year career as an NBA head coach. He had experienced tightness and pain in his chest for about a week. Jackson was released from the hospital about 2 1/2 hours before Sunday's game.

Cleamons said he spoke with Jackson before the game, at halftime and afterward.

From the sound of his voice, he sounded strong, like he was OK,'' Cleamons said. I'm hopeful he'll travel with us to San Antonio tomorrow and be on the bench Tuesday night.''

That decision will be made Monday.

I put it in perspective. Before the game, I asked myself, Would I come to work if I went through what Phil went through?''' Lakers guard Brian Shaw said. He called us at halftime and told us what adjustments to make. We followed his lead. He was calm, and we stayed calm.''

Derek Fisher added 17 points for the Lakers. Stephen Jackson had 15 points and a playoff career high 10 rebounds and Parker scored 14 for the Spurs.

We had a pretty good shot. It didn't happen,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. I'm very pleased with the way we competed. We just have to stay confident and take care of business at home.''

Stephen Jackson's 3-pointer with 1:31 remaining capped a 6-0 run and gave the Spurs a 95-93 lead, but the Spurs wouldn't score again.

O'Neal made two free throws 14 seconds later to tie it, and after the Spurs committed a turnover, Bryant made a free throw with 48 seconds left to put the Lakers ahead for good.

Stephen Jackson missed a 3-pointer with 24 seconds to go, forcing the Spurs to foul. They got to Bryant with 14.2 seconds left, and he made two more foul shots, making it 98-95.

Bryant then stole Parker's inbound pass and added another free throw to complete the scoring.

We let this game get away from us,'' Stephen Jackson said. This is one we definitely should have had.''

The Spurs led 64-55 when Duncan went to the bench with 2:54 left in the third quarter after picking up his fourth foul on Bryant.

Duncan would say afterward he didn't touch Bryant.

The Lakers quickly took advantage, outscoring the Spurs 16-3 for a 71-67 lead. Bryant had six points, Fisher four, and Devean George and Shaw made 3-pointers, with Shaw banking his in from about 30 feet as the period ended.

That was similar to what happened with Duncan on the bench at the end of the second quarter.

He picked up his third foul with 3:37 left and the Spurs holding a 43-27 lead the largest of the game for either team. The Lakers then outscored the Spurs 12-3 to finish the half, making it 46-39.

Iverson had 36 points and 11 assists Sunday night, giving Philadelphia one major, distinct advantage a player who could create with the ball as the 76ers evened their second-round series 2-2 by beating Detroit 95-82 Sunday night.

Chauncey Billups returned to the lineup for Detroit after missing two games, but the point guard shot just 1-for-6 and did not make a single drive to the basket all night.

Backup Chucky Atkins had all sorts of difficulty trying to defend Iverson, whose quickness allowed him to free himself for jumpers or to drive the lane or the baseline, draw extra defenders and create enough easy baskets to allow Philadelphia to maintain a comfortable lead throughout.

Iverson had his shot working, making jumpers on three straight possessions early in the fourth quarter to give Philadelphia a 70-56 lead. Iverson finished 13-for-27 from the field, and his 11 assists accounted for more than half of Philadelphia's total. He scored 15 in the final quarter.

The series will not resume until Wednesday night, giving Billups two days to rest his sore left ankle and Pistons coach Rick Carlisle the same amount of time to devise a strategy to neutralize Iverson.

Hamilton is the only Detroit defender who has had any luck staying close to Iverson while chasing him around, but he spent less time defending Iverson in this game than he did in the three previous ones.

That was likely a scheme to allow Hamilton to save his energy for the offensive end, where he was the only Detroit player with more than two field goals at the start of the fourth quarter.

Hamilton finished with 30 points and Atkins had 11 for Detroit. Ben Wallace grabbed 15 rebounds.

With their best player on the bench, Doug Christie had 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as the Kings calmly executed their game plan and evened their second-round series 2-2 by beating the Dallas Mavericks 99-83 Sunday night.

There was no panic by the Kings, who played on consecutive nights in the playoffs for the first time in the team's history in Sacramento. The game tipped off just under 22 hours after the Mavericks' dramatic 141-137 double-overtime win in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Game 5 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday in Dallas.

Christie established the energy early, and it rubbed off on his teammates. All five Sacramento starters scored in double figures and six players reached the mark in all, including Webber's replacement in the starting lineup, Hedo Turkoglu, who had 17 points.

Vlade Divac added 16 points and nine rebounds, and the fun-loving Kings were suddenly themselves again smiling as they walked off the court during timeouts and patting each other on the back of the head.

The Mavericks averaged 128.7 points through the first three games of the series, but they never got in sync against the Kings' pressure defense, which was the biggest difference in the outcome.

Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, who was averaging 27.6 points in the postseason, was held to 11, and he was ejected with 2:20 left for kicking a pile of towels after being whistled for a technical.

After that, the game got heated again. Bobby Jackson and Raja Bell both were tossed with 1:14 to go after shoving each other at midcourt.

Michael Finley and Bell each scored 16 points to lead Dallas, but the Mavs couldn't count on the players who had come through in the clutch a night earlier.

Dallas shot just 0-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half and finished 8-of-15, a night after making 19 of 42, an NBA playoff record for attempts.

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