Los Angeles wins series 4-0 (Game 2 of 4)

Los Angeles wins series 4-0

Game 1: Wednesday, June 5th
Game 2: Friday, June 7th
Game 3: Sunday, June 9th
Game 4: Wednesday, June 12th

Nets 83


Lakers 106

(58-24, 34-7 home)

    6:00 PM ET, June 7, 2002

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 21 22 18 2283
    LAL 27 22 28 29106

    Top Performers

    NJ: K. Kittles 23 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    LAL: S. O'Neal 40 Pts, 12 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Blk

    Nets have no answer for Shaq after two losses

    LOS ANGELES -- Let's go over the New Jersey Nets' to-do list for Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Shaquille O'Neal

    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Slowing Shaquille O'Neal remains a puzzle for Nets coach Byron Scott.

  • Crash the boards? Check. The Nets had an astonishing 20 offensive rebounds despite getting outrebounded 47-43.

  • Avoid a first-quarter meltdown? Check. The Nets, whose opening-night jitters caused them to fall behind by 15 points after one in Game 1, trailed by just six at 27-21.

  • Stop Shaquille O'Neal? Well ... um ... check back Sunday.

    Maybe the time change will help the Nets when the series moves east to Continental Airlines Arena. Jet lag might be the only thing that can slow down O'Neal after he turned in another dominating performance in the Lakers' 106-83 win at Staples Center for a 2-0 series lead Friday.

    After registering 36 points and 16 rebounds in L.A.'s 99-94 victory on Wednesday, O'Neal's encore featured 40 points, 12 boards and even eight assists while passing out of double teams to Kobe Bryant (24 points) and Derek Fisher (12).

    Nets head coach Byron Scott is not only running out of ideas on how to impede the 7-foot-1, 350-pounder, but he's running out of words to describe the two-time Finals MVP who is steamrolling his way to a third MVP trophy while leading the Lakers' three-peat bid.

    Shaq's next attack is scheduled for Sunday when Game 3 is played in the Meadowlands.

    "What can I say guys? Too much Shaquille O'Neal," Scott prefaced his postgame comments. "He's a monster. That's all I can say about him."

    The Nets had talked about the adjustments they needed to make in order to board their flight to Jersey with home-court advantage in their bags. But it didn't take long to see that nothing had changed in the 48 hours since Game 1.

    O'Neal took up his usual spot around the basket and resumed his domination of the Nets' three-headed center of Todd MacCulloch, Aaron Williams and rookie Jason Collins. O'Neal scored 12 points in the first quarter on 5-of-7 shooting and had 23 points at the half.

    At least New Jersey didn't suffer the same first-period fate in Game 1, when the Nets fell behind 29-14. Remarkably, the Nets trailed just 27-21 after one quarter and 49-43 at halftime despite shooting 30.6 percent (15 for 49) and having Jason Kidd go scoreless. Kidd missed all five of his shots, but Kerry Kittles and Richard Jefferson kept New Jersey close with 12 and eight points, respectively, in the first half.

    Still, the Nets failed to improve on their 39.4-percent shooting Wednesday, slipping to 34.9 percent (30 of 86). Kittles led New Jersey with 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting and Kidd rebounded to produce a Kidd-esque line of 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. But even when New Jersey got off the mat after a 16-2 third-quarter run put L.A. up 20 to creep within six at 81-75 on Kittles' third 3-pointer, the Lakers went back to their money play -- dump the ball into O'Neal.

    O'Neal scored off a dunk from a Bryant feed and hit two free throws to ignite a game-ending 26-3 run.

    "The big thing is that hemissed two free throws tonight," Kidd said. "I mean, 12 for 14? He's showing that he can do it all now."

    O'Neal also made 14 of 23 attempts from the field as his teammates once again had little difficulty feeding him the ball in the low post.

    "The guys just got me the ball," said O'Neal, who surprisingly saw single-coverage early. "We have a little form that we go through. And our form is simple: first one to four games. Now we got two."

    Only two teams in Finals history have come back from an 0-2 deficit: the 1969 Celtics and the 1977 Trail Blazers. Lakers coach Phil Jackson isn't about to have the Lakers fitted for rings, but he was pleased by Friday's effort. On the whiteboard in the Lakers' locker room, Jackson wrote, "2 to go. That's more like it."

    "We haven't done anything," Jackson said. "We established the fact that we're able to win on our home court. Until someone loses on their home court, this series is still just tit-for-tat, so to speak."

    Joe Lago is the NBA editor for

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 106
    FGM-FGA 30-86 (.349) 39-78 (.500)
    3PM-3PA 6-22 (.273) 9-16 (.563)
    FTM-FTA 17-27 (.630) 19-24 (.792)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 20-43 12-47
    Assists 18 26
    Turnovers 13 16
    Steals 11 6
    Blocks 5 7
    Fast Break Points 4 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 21 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Los Angeles
    Kerry Kittles Kittles
    Points: 23
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Shaquille O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 40
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1