Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/28

Game 1: Friday, December 28th
Raptors89Final
Lakers86
Game 2: Sunday, January 6th
Lakers109Final
Raptors89

Raptors 89

(16-13, 8-8 away)

Lakers 86

(20-6, 14-2 home)

Coverage: FSW

7:30 PM ET, December 28, 2001

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

1 2 3 4 T
TOR 22 22 23 2289
LAL 19 18 25 2486

Top Performers

Toronto: A. Williams 17 Pts, 11 Reb, 8 Ast, 4 Stl

Los Angeles: K. Bryant 26 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

Carter leaves game in third after hard fall

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Without Hakeem Olajuwon the entire game and Vince Carter for the fourth quarter, the Toronto Raptors were still better than the Los Angeles Lakers without Shaquille O'Neal.

Vince Carter

AP

Vince Carter was in obvious pain after his third-quarter fall.

The Raptors, who lost Carter to a strained left shoulder in the final second of the third quarter, held on to beat Kobe Bryant and the Lakers 89-86 Friday night.

Carter hurt his shoulder when he went down hard while driving to the basket. Devean George fouled him, but Carter, knocked slightly off-balance, was past George when he fell to the floor. X-rays on the shoulder were negative and Carter is listed as day-to-day. The Raptors play in Seattle on Saturday night.

"It's not broken; that's all I can really tell you. I'm pretty sore. I don't know how long I'll be out, but we'll find out tomorrow," said Carter, who is scheduled to be re-examined on Saturday.

He was frustrated at missing the fourth quarter, but proud of his teammates.

"It stinks to sit there on a table (in the X-ray room) and have to watch it when you want to help. But that just shows how far we've come as a team. We really stepped up and pulled together and pulled out a big one against the best team in the league," Carter said.

Olajuwon was out again with an infected toe, while his Lakers counterpart, O'Neal, is on the disabled list with an arthritic toe.

Alvin Williams had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead three Raptors with double-doubles. Antonio Davis had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Keon Clark added 14 points and 16 rebounds.

"I thought the guys kept their poise," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. "Alvin Williams was incredible."

Bryant led Los Angeles with 26 points and George had a career-high 17 as the Lakers lost the fifth of their last nine after a 16-1 start.

"We're not panicking, but we hate to lose, especially in this fashion," Bryant said. "It just eats away at you. We've very, very upset at this loss."

Said Lakers coach Phil Jackson: "My concern is that we came out in the third quarter and did not play with the intensity that we left the game at halftime, and came back and played with again in the fourth quarter.

"We need to play with more excitement and more energy."

The Raptors never trailed and led by as many as 16 in the third quarter, but the Lakers pulled within one point twice in the fourth and took it down to the wire before Brian Shaw missed the first of two free throws with 2.8 seconds left, then intentionally missed the second and Toronto got the rebound.

Carter had 15 points when he left and the Raptors held a 66-62 lead. Since he couldn't shoot free throws, the Lakers got to designate who would shoot them for the foul against him. They picked center Eric Montross, a 49-percent shooter, and he made one of the two free throws.

O'Neal sat out his third game after going on the injured list last Tuesday. Olajuwon missed his fifth game because of the infected toe on his left foot. He is being treated with antibiotics.

Even Bryant has been slowed recently by soreness in his right rib cage, but said after the game that he felt OK.

Down by 56-40 early into the third quarter, the Lakers rallied to cut the deficit to 67-62 heading into the fourth.

Rick Fox had eight points, five rebounds and two assists to lead the Lakers' surge in the period.

Davis scored 10 points in the second quarter as the Raptors opened a 44-37 lead by halftime. Bryant was basically a one-man show for the Lakers in the first half with 13 points.

Toronto led 22-19 at the end of the opening quarter.

Game notes
Carter, in his fourth year, has missed just seven games in his career, all last season because of an injured left knee. .. Jackson said he would probably limit O'Neal's practice time but not the center's playing time when he comes off the injured list. ... The Nebraska Cornhuskers' fourth-ranked football team, which plays No. 1 Miami in the Rose Bowl for the BCS championship on Thursday, was among the sellout crowd of 18,997. Miami's players will be at the Lakers' game Sunday against Houston.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
TOR
LAL
Points 89 86
FGM-FGA 31-82 (.378) 33-86 (.384)
3PM-3PA 3-10 (.300) 7-18 (.389)
FTM-FTA 24-29 (.828) 13-23 (.565)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-47 16-51
Assists 19 20
Turnovers 10 15
Steals 13 4
Blocks 7 7
Fast Break Points 9 13
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 19 (1/0)

Top Performers

Toronto
Los Angeles
Alvin Williams Williams
Points: 17
Reb: 11
Ast: 8
Stl: 4
Blk: 0
Kobe Bryant Bryant
Points: 26
Reb: 8
Ast: 6
Stl: 1
Blk: 0