Work in Sports
Kings lead wire-to-wire as Lakers drop Game 4
Posted: Wednesday May 03, 2000 03:47 PM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Lakers were beaten by a bunch of reserves named Jon, Tony and Predrag, and the NBA's best team this season suddenly was one loss from first-round playoff elimination.
Chris Webber had 23 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, seven blocks and four steals, and the Sacramento reserves provided the decisive spark for the second straight game as the Kings defeated the Lakers 101-88 Tuesday night to even their series at 2-2.
"We're glad we made it to five games," Webber said. "It would have been so easy for us to give up. But we came home and got two wins, and now we're going back to L.A."
The fifth and deciding game will be Friday night in Los Angeles, where the Lakers won the first two games of the series by comfortable margins. The Lakers, who went an NBA-best 67-15 this season, did not lose three straight games all year.
The winner of the series will face the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals. Phoenix dethroned the San Antonio Spurs, wrapping up their series 3-1 with an 89-78 victory Tuesday night.
"I'd rather have ended the series a couple of games ago, but now that we've got [a fifth game], this is what you live for," said Kobe Bryant, who led the Lakers with 32 points. "They did what they had to do, they defended their home court. And we defended ours."
Shaquille O'Neal added 25 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, but struggled with his shooting touch for the second straight game. He went 10-of-22 from the field and missed seven of 12 foul shots.
Los Angeles never led and got no closer than six points in the fourth quarter.
"This is a game that Sacramento beat us from the tip to the buzzer. They outplayed us for 48 minutes," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "The energy they played with, we just didn't match."
Jon Barry had 17 points, Tony Delk had 12 and Predrag Stojakovic 11 as the Sacramento backups outscored the Lakers' reserves 42-8.
The Kings went 9-for-21 from 3-point range, compared with 3-for-17 by the Lakers.
Sacramento is trying to become the 13th team to rally and win a series after trailing 2-0. No team has accomplished that feat since the Houston Rockets in 1995.
"It doesn't get any better than that. We did what we had to do, get it to 2-2, and now there's a fifth game," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "They maybe thought we were going to go away, and we didn't."
The Kings led 56-45 at halftime. They extended their lead to 68-56 with 3:18 left in the third period, seconds after Bryant and Divac were assessed technicals for a skirmish under the Los Angeles basket.
O'Neal committed his third foul on a charge, knocking Divac to the floor, and Divac hit a short jumper at the other end to make it 72-59 with 1:30 left in the quarter. The Lakers finished the period with a 7-1 run, though, and trailed just 73-66 going into the fourth period.
Sacramento extended its margin to 12 points when Delk's bucket with 8:19 left made it 82-70. Bryant had three baskets as the Lakers used an 8-2 run to close to 84-78, but Barry hit a 3-pointer with 5:19 remaining and Webber followed with a steal and dunk to give the Kings an 89-78 lead.
Los Angeles never got closer than eight points after that, and Barry ran along the sideline giving fans high-fives in the closing minute.
The Lakers missed eight of their first nine shots and fell behind 9-2 in jet-engine loud Arco Arena. Los Angeles made just three of its first 16 shots, falling behind by as many as 11 points and trailing 27-18 after one period.
Los Angeles closed to 46-43 with 21/2 minutes remaining before halftime, but Nick Anderson and Barry hit consecutive 3-pointers as the Kings closed the half with a 10-2 run capped by Webber's hook with eight-tenths of a second left.
Notes: Kings assistant coach Pete Carril was released from Sutter
Memorial Hospital, three days after having a minor heart attack,
and planned to watch Game 4 at home on TV. ... O'Neal and Bryant
each scored 90 points in the first three games of the series. ...
Kings reserve forward Tyrone Corbin missed the game with a sprained
left ankle. ... Rick Fox was with the Lakers a day after the birth
of his daughter and played five minutes in the fourth quarter. ...
Jason Williams struggled for the second straight game for the
Kings, going 1-for-8 from the field.