Sunday, May 2, 2004
Lakers vs. Spurs
No. 2 LOS ANGELES (56-26, 4-1) vs.
No. 3 SAN ANTONIO (57-25, 4-0)
Season series: Lakers won 3-1, all the wins coming during the first 5 1/2 weeks of the season. The Spurs won the final matchup 95-89 on April 4 at Los Angeles.
Storyline: The teams meet in the postseason for the fourth time in five years, both having made major personnel changes since the Spurs beat the Lakers 4-2 a year ago in the second round of the playoffs.
Whom to watch: Gregg Popovich vs. Phil Jackson. Mr. Military vs. Zen Master. Popovich once compared being swept by the Lakers to being in Gen. Custer's shoes; Jackson already has tossed an insult at the Spurs by calling San Antonio a "tourist trap." A guarantee: One will complain about the officiating after Game 1.
X-factor: Robert Horry. The player with a penchant for hitting game-winning 3-pointers was 0-for-15 from behind the arc - including a last-second in-and-out miss to end Game 5 - in last year's Lakers-Spurs series when he played for L.A. He's with San Antonio now.
Little-known fact: The last time one of these two teams did not win an NBA championship was 1998, when Jackson was coaching in Chicago and Kobe Bryant was battling Eddie Jones for playing time.
Prediction: Spurs in 7.
Key matchup Karl Malone vs. Tim
Duncan. Of the four times Duncan has met the Lakers in the playoffs, this is the first time he'll face a player of Malone's caliber. Malone has been the player who makes the Lakers click when he's healthy, and his physical style could frustrate Duncan.
130th KENTUCKY DERBY
wins with sentimental journey
Elliott, it's just a race - but a big one
Jones draws a crowd at home track
sees good things in the future
special place in their hearts
make for a contrasting infield
ads raise no fuss
gallery: The race
Photo gallery: The scene
FLYING PIG MARATHON
push each other in Pig Relay
age 82, marathoner's been a long time running
test doesn't trouble Panthers
lose 4th straight
Faraway fan reminds us of what we have
will test free agency
AL: Tigers hand
Mariners eighth loss in 10 games
NL: Rockies get
win against Braves
need funding for new stadium
hoping to shake his past
struggles require patience
McEachern exudes that star quality
combine continues to grow
Walton-Verona both lose in All 'A' Classic
Sistrunk hurdles to Roosevelt event victory
take 'blue-collar' approach to winning
season ends in Game 7
remain alive on Sakic OT goals
MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
celebrates 18th birthday with the lead
shorty goal tops Russia for USA
baseball team has 29 wins, 5 losses, 1 proposal
may get another shot at Illini
now is 'beautiful' and successful
quick chat with ... Mark Cassis
up with that?