Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 10/30

Game 1: Wednesday, October 30th
Lakers90Final
Trail Blazers102
Game 2: Sunday, November 3rd
Trail Blazers95Final
OT
Lakers98
Game 3: Friday, February 21st
Trail Blazers84Final
Lakers92
Game 4: Sunday, April 13th
Lakers99Final
Trail Blazers101

Lakers 99

(48-32, 18-22 away)

Trail Blazers 101

(49-31, 26-14 home)

12:30 PM ET, April 13, 2003

Moda Center, Portland, OR

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 23 20 25 3199
POR 30 22 21 28101

Top Performers

Los Angeles: K. Bryant 36 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

Portland: B. Wells 29 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

Wallace's 3 in final seconds beats Lakers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- It wasn't only that the Portland Trail Blazers were riding a two-game losing streak and jockeying for playoff position.

They were also playing their nemesis -- the Los Angeles Lakers, who have swept the Blazers out of the first round of the playoffs for the past two seasons.

"If you can't get amped up for a game like this, you never will,'' Rasheed Wallace said.

Wallace hit a 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left as the Blazers held off the Los Angeles Lakers 101-99 Sunday to take sole possession of fifth place in the Western Conference.

Struggling Portland needed the win after a loss to Memphis on Friday dropped them a half-game back of Minnesota for fourth place, and tied with the surging Lakers for the fifth spot.

The Timberwolves defeated Chicago 119-95 on Sunday to retain the fourth seed, which would ensure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Portland has two games left, while Minnesota has one remaining.

"We needed a win like this,'' Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said. "To win a game like this gives us a little boost to get ready for the playoffs. We needed it for morale more than anything.''

The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Lakers, who were led by Shaquille O'Neal's 36 points and 11 rebounds. Kobe Bryant also had 36 points for Los Angeles, which was coming off key wins against Sacramento and Dallas.

The Lakers play Denver and Golden State to wrap up the season.

"We have two games to get sharp, but wherever we end up is where we end up,'' O'Neal said.

Los Angeles pulled in front 97-96 on Devean George's free throw with 1:01 left. But Wallace answered with a 16-foot jumper to give Portland back the lead.

Bryant put the Lakers up again with a 21-foot jumper -- but Wallace again responded, swishing his 3-pointer as time ran down. Bryant's 3-point attempt at the buzzer missed.

"We had to muddle through a game where we were behind after a very tough start. Kobe's in foul trouble and we come out with a one-point lead with seconds left,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "If they didn't get that shot, what would you be saying? About how great momentum is.''

Wallace finished with 21 points for Portland, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Bonzi Wells led the Blazers with 29 points before fouling out.

Portland led 81-72 on Arvydas Sabonis' 22-foot-jumper with 9:30 to go, but the cool-headed Lakers then went on a 10-0 run. Derek Fisher's dunk with 7:45 left pulled the Lakers within 81-80 before Bryant hit a 19-foot-jumper to give Los Angeles the lead.

The two sides traded the lead until Wells' driving layup put the Blazers up 90-87 with 3:11 left. Wallace added a turnaround jumper to make it 92-87 and the Blazers held on until George's free throw.

The Lakers trailed by as many as 11 points early, and Bryant had two personal fouls less than five minutes in.

Los Angeles narrowed Portland's lead to 32-29 on O'Neal's jumper over the outstretched arms of the 7-foot-3 Sabonis. O'Neal followed up with a reverse layup.

O'Neal missed a pair of free throws that could have given the Lakers the lead, and Wallace hit a 3-pointer to kick off a 12-point Blazers run that made it 44-31.

Portland went on to lead it 52-43 at the half, but lost some steam early in the third quarter, when both Wallace and Cheeks were handed technical fouls for arguing calls.

The game saw the return of Portland reserve forward Ruben Patterson, who had missed the last three games with a broken eye socket after a punch by teammate Zach Randolph during practice two weeks ago. Randolph was suspended for two games for hitting Patterson.

The Blazers also had Dale Davis -- crucial for defending O'Neal -- after he missed Friday's game with back spasms.

But Portland remains without leader Scottie Pippen, who is still recovering from left knee surgery and fluid buildup in his calf. Pippen was supposed to return to the floor last week, but the fluid caused concern. The Blazers have gone 8-9 since he went down with the knee injury. They're 38-18 with Pippen in the starting lineup.

Game notes


The video scoreboard at the Rose Garden showed coverage of the Masters golf tournament before the game. ... The Blazers have won five straight over the Lakers at the Rose Garden. ... The season series between the two teams finished even at two apiece.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
LAL
POR
Points 99 101
FGM-FGA 33-65 (.508) 41-79 (.519)
3PM-3PA 3-9 (.333) 6-12 (.500)
FTM-FTA 30-41 (.732) 13-18 (.722)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-32 11-37
Assists 19 28
Turnovers 13 13
Steals 6 7
Blocks 3 3
Fast Break Points 2 2
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 26 (2/0)

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Portland
Kobe Bryant Bryant
Points: 36
Reb: 6
Ast: 7
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Bonzi Wells Wells
Points: 29
Reb: 8
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 0