Friday night fights
Fox, Christie brawl in Kings' win -- twicePosted: Saturday October 26, 2002 12:14 AM
Updated: Sunday October 27, 2002 11:44 PM
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- In an exhibition finale marked by a brawl between Los Angeles' Rick Fox and Sacramento's Doug Christie, the Kings beat the Lakers 93-88 Friday night to intensify the friction between the Western Conference rivals.
Fox and Christie fought in the tunnel leading to the locker room after they were ejected early in the first quarter. Neither player appeared seriously hurt.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson blamed the tunnel fight on the officials, while Kings coach Rick Adelman faulted Staples Center security.
Jackson's 3-point field goal with 8:44 left tied it at 81, and Sacramento took the lead for good when Pollard hit a hook shot with 5:07 left.
Bad blood simmering since the Lakers beat the Kings last season in the conference finals boiled over in the first quarter when Fox and Christie scuffled after Fox fouled Christie.
"It's personal now," Bryant said, adding he didn't blame Fox for what he did. "Tempers flare. It's what competition is about."
The trouble started after Christie drew an offensive foul when Fox turned and knocked him down with an elbow. After Christie got up, the players exchanged words. Fox pushed Christie in the face with an open hand and Christie responded with a left-handed punch to Fox's jaw.
After they were ejected, the players left the court in opposite directions, but Fox apparently went around the back and met up with Christie in the tunnel that leads to the locker room area.
Fox grabbed Christie in a headlock, and they had to be separated by security, as well as the entire Kings bench. Shaquille O'Neal, in street clothes, attempted to separate players.
"I think they did a terrible job with officiating that thing," Jackson said. "Someone should have stepped right in between the two of them immediately when that happened."
Said Adelman: "I'm not disappointed in Doug, I'm not disappointed in my team. There's something wrong with the security. That type of thing shouldn't even come close to happening."
Kings center Vlade Divac criticized Fox.
"Rick didn't just go too far. He went overseas and back," he said. "I don't feel secure, man. They are supposed to keep these games secure.
"I thought it was going to be fun. The last game of the preseason, you try to work on your game and get ready for the regular season."
The Kings and Lakers don't play each other until Christmas Day, and Friday night was their first meeting of the preseason. The game was played as a doubleheader at Staples Center. Cleveland and Milwaukee played the early game.
The teams regularly trade insults, but the rhetoric heated up
before Friday night's game when O'Neal said, "I'm not worried
about the Sacramento Queens."