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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- LA LAKERS 20 24 24 22 90 PORTLAND 22 15 25 25 87 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 23, KOBE BRYANT 22, TWO PLAYERS WITH 9 POR - SCOTTIE PIPPEN 19, ARVYDAS SABONIS 16, RASHEED WALLACE 15

HIGH REBOUND: LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 10, THREE PLAYERS WITH 7 POR - ARVYDAS SABONIS 11, SCOTTIE PIPPEN 9

HIGH ASSISTS: LAL - ROBERT HORRY 5, RON HARPER 4 POR - SCOTTIE PIPPEN 4, FOUR PLAYERS WITH 3

ATT: 20,584


Extended Box

LA LAKERS (90) AT PORTLAND (87)

LA LAKERS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

GREEN F 21 3-3 0-0 3 4 7 1 0 0 1 6 RICE F 28 3-9 2-2 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 9 ONEAL C 46 7-17 9-13 3 7 10 1 3 1 3 23 BRYANT G 36 6-11 10-10 1 6 7 3 4 1 5 22 HARPER G 24 2-5 1-2 2 3 5 4 3 1 2 5 SHAW 23 4-11 0-0 2 5 7 3 1 0 2 9 FISHER 14 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 5 HORRY 27 2-6 0-0 0 2 2 5 3 2 1 5 KNIGHT 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 FOX 20 2-3 0-0 0 4 4 1 1 0 1 6 GEORGE DNP - COACH'S DECISION SALLEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 31-69 22-27 11 32 43 21 17 6 16 90 (.449) (.815) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 19(16 PTS)

PORTLAND REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

PIPPEN F 42 7-18 2-3 3 6 9 4 5 4 3 19 WALLACE F 43 7-16 1-2 2 5 7 1 4 0 1 15 SABONIS C 38 6-15 4-4 4 7 11 3 3 5 1 16 SMITH G 35 5-14 1-2 3 2 5 3 1 2 0 11 STOUDAMIRE G 31 4-11 0-0 2 1 3 3 4 1 3 8 ONEAL 7 1-3 0-0 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 2 ANTHONY 16 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 1 2 5 SCHREMPF 18 2-4 3-3 1 4 5 3 1 0 0 7 WELLS 10 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 1 4 AUGMON DNP - COACH'S DECISION B GRANT DNP - COACH'S DECISION KLEINE DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-89 11-14 17 27 44 18 22 13 11 87 (.404) (.786) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 11(16 PTS)

LA LAKERS 20 24 24 22 - 90 PORTLAND 22 15 25 25 - 87

BLOCKED SHOTS: LA LAKERS - ONEAL 3, BRYANT, SHAW, HARPER. PORTLAND - NONE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: LA LAKERS 6-15 (.400), RICE 1-3, BRYANT 0-1, HARPER 0-1, SHAW 1-3, FISHER 1-1, HORRY 1-3, FOX 2-3. PORTLAND 4-17 (.235), PIPPEN 3-10, WALLACE 0-1, SMITH 0-3, ANTHONY 1-2, WELLS 0-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: STEVE JAVIE, KEN MAUER, TIM DONAGHY. A - 20,584. T - 2:21.


Box Score

LA LAKERS (90) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Green 21 3-3 0-0 3-7 1 0 6 Rice 28 3-9 2-2 0-0 1 1 9 Oneal 46 7-17 9-13 3-10 1 3 23 Bryant 36 6-11 10-10 1-7 3 4 22 Harper 24 2-5 1-2 2-5 4 3 5 Shaw 23 4-11 0-0 2-7 3 1 9 Fisher 14 2-4 0-0 0-1 2 0 5 Horry 27 2-6 0-0 0-2 5 3 5 Knight 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Fox 20 2-3 0-0 0-4 1 1 6 George DNP - coach's decision Salley DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-69 22-27 11-43 21 17 90 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.449, FT-.815. 3-Point Goals: 6-15, .400 (Rice 1-3, Bryant 0-1, Harper 0-1, Shaw 1-3, Fisher 1-1, Horry 1-3, Fox 2-3). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 6 (Oneal 3, Bryant, Shaw, Harper). Turnovers: 19 (Bryant 5, Oneal 3, Harper 2, Shaw 2, Fox, Green, Horry, Rice). Steals: 6 (Horry 2, Bryant, Harper, Oneal, Rice).

PORTLAND (87) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pippen 42 7-18 2-3 3-9 4 5 19 Wallace 43 7-16 1-2 2-7 1 4 15 Sabonis 38 6-15 4-4 4-11 3 3 16 Smith 35 5-14 1-2 3-5 3 1 11 Stoudamire 31 4-11 0-0 2-3 3 4 8 Oneal 7 1-3 0-0 2-2 0 1 2 Anthony 16 2-4 0-0 0-1 0 1 5 Schrempf 18 2-4 3-3 1-5 3 1 7 Wells 10 2-4 0-0 0-1 1 2 4 Augmon DNP - coach's decision B Grant DNP - coach's decision Kleine DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-89 11-14 17-44 18 22 87 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.404, FT-.786. 3-Point Goals: 4-17, .235 (Pippen 3-10, Wallace 0-1, Smith 0-3, Anthony 1-2, Wells 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 11 (Pippen 3, Stoudamire 3, Anthony 2, Sabonis, Wallace, Wells). Steals: 13 (Sabonis 5, Pippen 4, Smith 2, Anthony, Stoudamire). ____________________________________________ La Lakers 20 24 24 22 - 90 Portland 22 15 25 25 - 87 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: Portland 1 (Wallace, 0:41 1st). A: 20,584. T: 2:21. Officials: Steve Javie, Ken Mauer, Tim Donaghy.


Game Story

PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Lakers turned the showdown into a shutdown.

In their epic regular-season battle and their last possible meeting until May, the Lakers held the Portland Trail Blazers scoreless for more than three minutes down the stretch and emerged with a 90-87 victory.

Shaquille O'Neal had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Kobe Bryant scored 22 points for the Lakers, who ended Portland's 16-game home winning streak and finally reclaimed the NBA's best record.

The teams came in with identical 45-11 marks and 11-game winning streaks, both looking to send a message that could not be answered until the NBA playoffs. That was delivered by the Lakers, who have the tougher schedule down the stretch.

"We just wanted to ccome up here and play well," O'Neal said. "We match up well with this team. ... I like our chances in the end (of the season). This team, the Blazers, will be there in the end, too."

"We just have to regroup and start another streak and hope somebody can get the best of them," Portland star forward Scottie Pippen said.

After a 3-pointer by Pippen gave Portland an 85-84 lead with 3:07 left, Los Angeles clamped down. The Trail Blazers went 0-of-5 from the field with two turnovers before Arvydas Sabonis made a meaningless layup at the buzzer.

The Lakers' offense wasn't a thing of beauty down the stretch, either. But Bryant made a pair of free throws and Ron Harper and O'Neal sank one apiece before Glen Rice made two more to seal it. O'Neal was 9-of-13 from the line.

"The reason we won is because Shaq hit his free throws," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

"Throughout my career I've stepped up from the line in the clutch," said O'Neal, a career 54 percent free-throw shooter.

Pippen had 19 points and nine rebounds and Sabonis added 16 and 11 for the Blazers, who erased an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit before their late collapse. Portland relinquished the top spot in the Pacific Division for the first time since February 1.

Both teams have 25 games remaining. The Lakers have 12 home games and 16 against teams above .500. The Blazers have 14 home games and 13 against above-.500 teams.

The Blazers were somewhat let down by their bench, which was missing power forward Brian Grant (strained arch) and scored 18 points. The Lakers' reserves totaled 25 points, led by Brian Shaw's nine and seven rebounds.

"We played pretty good defense, we played together," O'Neal said. "Guys like Robert (Horry) and Rick (Fox) came off the bench and did a great job."

Both teams' superstars were conspicuous by their absences in the key moments. A runner by Shaw gave the Lakers a 75-64 lead with 9:34 to go, but Detlef Schrempf hit two free throws and steals set up fast-break baskets by Bonzi Wells and Pippen that made it 75-70 with 8:19 left.

O'Neal made a free throw and the teams traded baskets until a three-point play by Schrempf and a 3-pointer by Greg Anthony tied it at 80-80 with 4:46 remaining. Derek Fisher and Schrempf traded jumpers and Bryant made two free throws before Pippen hit a 30-footer to give Portland the lead.

But the Blazers came apart. Anthony threw away a pass and Bryant made two free throws with 2:05 to go to give Los Angeles the lead for good. Steve Smith missed a 3-pointer and the teams exchanged turnovers before Bryant missed a shot with 1:08 left.

Sabonis missed a jumper and Pippen fouled Harper, who split a pair from the line with 34 seconds remaining. Portland's Damon Stoudamire missed a jumper and O'Neal rebounded and was fouled. He also made 1-of-2 with 24 seconds left, giving the Blazers a chance to tie with a 3-pointer.

But Portland botched the play and Pippen missed a 3-pointer. The ball bounced toward the corner and Smith ran it down with about six seconds to go. Unaware of the time remaining, he threw a prayer over his head that hit the basket support. Two free throws by Rice with 5.3 seconds left clinched it.

"I wish I knew what that last play was because it wasn't anything I drew up," Blazers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "One guy came out of the huddle and apparently didn't know what we were doing. What we ended up getting wasn't what we drew up. Then we get the rebound with six seconds and misjudged that situation."

"I didn't know how much time was left and I was also falling out of bounds and I was going to throw it away so I figured I would get a shot attempt up," Smith said. "The correct play would have been to call timeout but there was so much going on."

Rice scored nine points but sat nearly the entire final period for the Lakers, who shot 45 percent (31-of-69) and made 22-of-27 free throws. Los Angeles overcame 19 turnovers.

Rasheed Wallace scored 15 points and Smith added 11 -- two after the first quarter -- for the Blazers, who shot just 40 percent (36-of-89), including 4-of-17 from behind the arc. Portland held a 44-43 rebounding edge but made only 11-of-14 foul shots.

"We settled for a lot of outside shots," Schrempf said. "We weren't very aggressive at trying to get to the basket or getting to the free-throw line."

A playoff atmosphere was present in the Rose Garden and Smith's nine points helped Portland to a 22-20 lead after one quarter. But Los Angeles' reserves provided a spark in the second period and Bryant returned to make a 3-pointer and two free throws, giving the Lakers a 42-32 lead with 1:55 remaining.

Los Angeles led 44-37 at halftime, but Portland battled back and took a 61-60 lead on a free throw by Sabonis with 3:02 to play in the third quarter. However, a 3-pointer by Horry highlighted an 8-1 burst that gave the Lakers a 68-62 advantage entering the final quarter.

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