Work in Sports
Mighty Lakers fall to Kings 99-91 in Game 3
Posted: Monday May 01, 2000 01:20 AM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal lost his shooting touch. Kobe Bryant was slowed by foul trouble. And, suddenly, the mighty Los Angeles Lakers were far from invincible.
Chris Webber had 29 points and the Sacramento bench finally came alive, sparking an 18-2 run in the fourth quarter, as the Kings defeated 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 night at Sacramento.
"I want them to be down; they should be embarrassed by the way they played today," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "This was not a good performance."
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 period, had 16 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter.
"I just missed some chippies, shots that I usually don't miss. I need to be a lot better Tuesday," said O'Neal, who hit 63 percent of his shots while averaging 34.5 points in the first two games of the series. "We didn't play well all day, and they played the best ball they possibly can."
Predrag Stojakovic had 19 points and Tony Delk added 11 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, who returned to Sacramento late Saturday night after attending an aunt's funeral in Tennessee, 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 harrowing task as they try to upset the best team in the NBA this season. Only 12 teams have rallied to win a series after trailing 2-0, and none since the Houston Rockets in 1995.
"I don't think they are invincible. It's just that we didn't play our game in Los Angeles," Sacramento's Vlade Divac said. "They are the best team in the league, no doubt. You play their game, you lose. When we play our game, it gives us a chance."
The scenario is familiar for the Lakers. In each of the previous three seasons, Los Angeles has won the first two games of its first-round series then lost Game 3 and wrapped up the series in four games.
When asked how disappointed he was by the loss, Jackson resorted to sarcasm.
"I'm personally very happy about it, because the way we're playing we need another ballgame," he said. "And the next [series] doesn't start until Sunday, anyway."
Sacramento opened the fourth quarter with a 7-1 run, taking its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Stojakovic with 9:43 remaining after Delk twice kept the possession alive with offensive rebounds.
O'Neal's dunk and two baskets by Bryant gave Los Angeles a 78-73 lead, but the Kings replied with a 14-0 run that included another 3-pointer by Stojakovic, a windmill dunk by Webber and Divac's block of a layup by O'Neal.
"We gave it to them. We made silly mistakes, and they capitalized on them," O'Neal said. "They were a little hungrier than we were."
After Glen Rice scored for Los Angeles to end the run, Delk and Webber scored baskets to give Sacramento a 91-80 lead with 3:18 remaining.
"All the things we have to do to win a game like this, we did. We defended, we rebounded, we played really well," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "I think the biggest thing is we sustained our effort tonight. In L.A., we had our moments but we couldn't sustain it."
Leading 51-46 at halftime, the Lakers used a 9-0 run -- including a 360-degree spinning layup by Bryant and Rice's 3-pointer -- to take a 64-54 lead early in the third period. The Kings pulled within a point late in the period but trailed 71-66 going into the fourth quarter.
The Kings missed 11 of their first 13 shots and fell behind 15-7 midway through the first period. A three-point play by Rice gave the Lakers a 27-17 lead late in the first quarter.
The Kings hit eight of their next 11 shots, responding with a 13-3 run and tying the game at 30-30 on a jumper by Stojakovic, but the Lakers answered with a 9-0 run.
A three-point play by O'Neal, following a turnover by Williams on an errant behind-the-back pass, made it 44-36. The Lakers, led by O'Neal's 15 points and 12 rebounds, held a five-point halftime lead.
Notes: Kings assistant coach Pete Carril was resting comfortably
in a hospital Sunday, recovering from a minor heart attack a day
earlier. ... Sacramento reserve forward Tyrone Corbin sprained his
left knee when he collided with teammate Jon Barry in the second
quarter and did not return. ... The Kings improved to 3-8 on NBC
this season and postseason.