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Retro Diary: 1997 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Blazers Gm.4 (Part II)


This is the second half of the Diary for Game 4 of the 1997 First Round series between the Blazers and the Lakers. Part I is below or here if you’re lazy. I know you are.

-Second half starts with a Cliff Robinson turnover. Always a good sign.

-Someone tell me why Kenny Anderson thought it would be smart to jack up three’s? Cheryl Miller also correctly points out that the halftime lead was 5 points aka the number of illegal defense’s the Lakers had.

-Sheed with a trailer three from the top of the key….money. I wonder how many of those he hit at the Rose Garden. Bob Neal calls him The Sheed. 17 points for Sheed. Blazers in control of this ugly game….57-48 with 8 minutes left in the third.

-BEAT L-A chant. Bob Neal dropping stats. Lakers haven’t won a playoff game in Portland since 1991 and no playoff team has won a game in the Rose Garden. Those are never good stats to hear. Also Penny Hardaway dropped 41 points on Miami. Talk about your time machine.

-Sabas tip off a Sheed miss makes it 59-50. The fans love him. Sidenote…is there anyone who got dunked on more than Sabas. Not posterized because he never jumped but he just always got dunked on. Elden Campbell just did it and Eddie Jones almost just did it but got fouled. Him and Patrick Ewing just didn’t care about getting boomed on.

-Tonight on Inside the NBA…Virtual Vince welcomes Bob Hill to the Virtual World. And I promise I’m not making that up. They didn’t even have EJ yet.

-In the blink of an eye the Lakers have cut the lead to 64-61 with 4 minutes left in the third thanks to transition buckets and an inability to score for the Blazers. Doesn’t sound like a PJ team at all.

-TNT busts out ‘Playoff Memories’…and it’s the Lakers beating the Blazers in the 91 Western Conference Finals. Of course. I’ve been haunted by the sight of two Lakers armpit hair….Magic and Shaq.

-Every Blazer possession is going down to end of the shot clock. This time Sabas got fouled by Shaq at the end. It’s his fourth. Will we ever again see two white bigs playing together like Sabas and Dudley?

-Byron Scott sighting for the Lakers. Elden Campbell with another bucket to keep the Blazer lead at 3.

-Rider kicked the ball out of a double team and the Blazers overpassed. I mean three different guys passed up shots for no good reason.

-Robert Horry with an athletic tip-in…Bob Neal almost called it the ‘first inside bucket of his life’ but said that would be ‘cruel’. 97 announcers rule.

-Jerome Kersey just used every last strain of his knee ligaments to sky and get a defensive rebound. Seriously he limped when he got up. I truly forgot about him as a Laker. It’s irking me. Told y’all I didn’t have a good feeling.

-Quick glimpse of vintage sloppy Paul Allen. 70-68 Blazers…where the bleep is Rasheed Wallace? I know he has fouls but for pete’s sake he has 17 points too. Come on PJ. MIKE RICE CAMEO IN A WHITE SWEATER!!!!

-Rider to Trent again who scores the bucket and gets fouled. Again make your own jokes. Trent has 6 points in the last couple minutes. He missed the free throw badly though. 74-68 as the Blazers go for the last shot of the quarter.

-Such a good shot. They double Rider in the post. He correctly dribbles out of it. But instead of passing, takes a couple more dribbles and shoots a pullup three. That’s definitely the LaToya Jackson of end of quarter shots. It remains 74-68 at the end of 3. Sheed has 17 but hasn’t played in what feels like 823912 minutes.

-Bob Neal with another ‘The Blazers have never lost a playoff game in the Rose Garden’. Trying to jinx apparently. Shaq’s back in the game but they go to Elden and he scores.

-Sheed’s back in the game but they decide to instead post up Gary Trent. Do you think he scored? No. In the series the Lakers have outscored the Blazers 29-17 in the fourth quarter. TNT is awesome for this. Sike.

-Elden Campbell…Blazer-Killer. This time a 12-footer and the lead is cut to 2. He has 20 points in the game. Just as many as Shaq. Rose Garden crowd is….anxious to say the least.

-Anyone else remember when Shaq used to get deep post position and it was over as soon as he caught it? Nope? Well there was a day where he didn’t struggle posting Ilgauskas up people. I promise. He just did it twice in a row to tie the game.

-This Blazer team had noooo shooters. And I mean none. Everything was pick and roll or post-up. Sheed tweaked his ankle and is going to the sideline. Uh-oh. He sits next to an unbelievably young Jermaine O’Neal.

-Remember I said no shooters? Well Sabas told me to shut the F up by draining a three-ball. 79-76 Blazers.

-Kenny Anderson just got called for a double-dribble. Such good play by your PG in an elimination game. Elden Campbell is still going to work as he heads to the line to tie the game up with 6:51 left in the game. Meanwhile Shaq has 25 and has shot 7/9 from the line. Damn.

-Sheed is finally coming back in the game. Lakers can take the lead. Shaq gets fouled. Sheed, Sabas and Uncle Cliffy all have 4 fouls.

-Bob Neal says Shaq is in great physical condition. The last time an announcer would say this. He drains both free throws and he’s 9/11 from the line. 80-79 Lakers with a bit over 5 minutes left. Sheed tip in puts them up 1.

-Blazers with their 19th turnover of the game. Chuck Daly says their shooting themselves in the foot. Bob Neal opts to rip on Sheed’s half red-half white mouthpiece. Shaq travels and Young Kobe is shocked on the bench.

-Sheed fadeaway in the post to put the Blazers up 3 with 3:35 left in the game. 21 for Sheed, 10/14 and he probably could have had 30+ if not for PJ holding him on the bench so long.

-Kenny Anderson: Crowd Killer. Fans roaring and he throws up a floater that clanks off the back rim. I don’t think he’s hit a field goal since the first quarter. Exactly three minutes left and the Blazers are up 3. LA hasn’t had a field goal in 6 minutes.

-Lakers miss, Sabas tips it to Sheed (with full grunt) who can’t control it and it goes out of bounds. Turnover #20.

-Easy lob to Elden and he’s fouled by Sheed who picks up his 5th. Elden nails both free throws to cut the Blazer lead to 2 with 2:28 and counting. JR Rider with a jump hook to put the Blazers back up 3.

-Down the other end, Sheed picks up his 6th and final foul off-camera and will sit with 21 points. Enter Chris Dudley. Damn. That’s never a good sign. Chuck Daly tries to rationalize it but basically says we’re screwed by saying we’re depending on Rider, Anderson and Cliffy for clutch offense.

-Eddie Jones at the line…makes the first. Misses the second…but enter Jerome ‘Karma is a Beezy’ Kersey to steal the board from Dudley. Elden then gets fouled by Dudley and he’s going to the line to tie the game.

-Elden drops them both in and it’s tied up at 85 with under 2 minutes left.

1:35 left: Sabonis misses a running hook shot. The crowd is nervous, no defense chant on the other end.

1:18 left: Shaq misses in the post but Jerome ‘Y’all Shoulda Treated Me Better’ Kersey with a tip in to give the Lakers an 87-85 lead. Told y’all I had a bad feeling!

1:00 left: Uncle Cliffy misses a runner and LA controls the rebound. 4/15 from the floor on the quarter. JR Rider fouls Eddie Jones off the ball as they are in the penalty. Complete. Breakdown.

89-85 Lakers with 45 seconds left. Jermaine desperately trie
s to rally the troops like he’s still in high school. Kind of cute. Ball goes into the Sabas who tries to kick it to Cliffy. It sails on him and Bob Neal catches it. Unfortunately he is not a Blazer. 21st turnover, 7th in the 4th quarter.

Kenny Anderson fouls Van Exel and he drains both of them to make it 91-85. 9-0 run. Gary Trent just shot a three. Sabas tipped it in to make it 91-87. And the Lakers got called for an inbounding violation. Wow.

Uncle Cliffy drains a runner with 17 seconds left to cut the lead to 91-89. Robert Horry is at the line. He’s always been Big Shot Rob, nailing both of them. Kobe is cheering and it’s killing me. 93-89 Lakers.

Sabas and Cliffy connect this time and he shoots a desperation shot that goes in. They only count it as a 2. 93-91. Elden at the line and he sinks both of them. 95-91. Gary Trent heaves it deep, it gets stolen and game over. The Lakers advance to play Utah and the Lakers send Blazer fans home unhappy.

The moral of the story? Don’t piss Jerome Kersey off.