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Lakers-Kings tied at 2

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2002

LOS ANGELES -- There's a new Mr. Clutch in town.

Robert Horry is nowhere near the scorer Jerry West once was. But in the closing seconds, even with teammates like Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, he is indeed the man.

Horry came through again Sunday, making a 3-pointer as time expired to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 100-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings in Game 4 to even the Western Conference finals.

If the Lakers manage to win a third straight title, they'll have good reason to dwell on the shot by Horry. A loss would have put the Kings ahead 3-1.

''In this situation, if we don't win this one, it looks grim,'' Lakers guard Brian Shaw said.

A 3-pointer by Horry with 1:39 left cut Sacramento's lead to 96-93 and 0'Neal made two free throws to draw the Lakers within one point with 26.9 seconds to play.

Vlade Divac made one of two foul shots with 11.8 seconds remaining to give the Kings a 99-97 lead.

It appeared they would survive when Kobe Bryant missed a drive in the lane and O'Neal was short on a follow attempt.

Divac swatted the rebound past the top of the key and the ball went right to Horry, whose shot over Chris Webber was all net.

''It was a great day, it was a blessed day for us, thank God for Robert,'' said O'Neal, who interrupted a TV interview Horry was doing after the game to give him a hug and kiss. ''I knew the shot was going down the second it left his hand.''

Horry said he felt the same way.

''I never moved, I wanted the 3 all the way,'' Horry said. ''When it came rolling out, it was like, 'Oh, look what I got.'

''The thing is, you can't think in a situation like that. I was like, 'If I don't get the ball off in time, we lose. If I do, it's money.' It was a rhythm shot. I was just worried about getting my form and getting my money shot down.''

The money shot gave the Lakers only their second lead of the game. The first was at 2-0 in the first 25 seconds, and that was erased when the Kings scored the next seven points en route to building a 24-point lead in the game's first 14 minutes.

''That's a victory from the jaws of defeat,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.



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