Lakers survive rap session by putting beat on Warriors

May 12, 1991|By Mark Heisler | Mark Heisler,Los Angeles Times

OAKLAND, Calif. -- OK, party animals, you can take those funny hats off.

The Golden State Warriors enjoyed their Game 2 upset to the max, even having the rap group, Run DMC, introduce them before Friday night's game. Unamused, the Los Angeles Lakers cooled Run TMC off and beat the Warriors, 115-112, Friday night for a 2-1 lead in the second-round best-of-seven series.

After Don Nelson labeled the Warriors "The Little Train That Could" and Tom Tolbert suggested the Lakers post-up game reminded him of "Minnesota with gold uniforms," the Lakers walked onto the court frowning and there went the good times.

First, they had to wait for Run DMC to finish.

"We all enjoyed it," said Mike Dunleavy, icily.

Larry Drew said the Lakers didn't react, but "I think it kinda [teed everybody] off."

The Lakers then held Game 2's hero, Chris Mullin to 14 points, held the Warriors to one field goal in a 5:50 span at the end of the third period and start of the fourth, ran up an 11-point lead with 3:25 left . . . and barely hung on after that.

The Warriors sliced it to 110-108 on Tim Hardaway's three-pointer but two jumpers by Byron Scott carried the Lakers to the wire.

With 1:23 left and the Warriors within 110-108, Scott drilled a three-pointer.

With 20 seconds left and the lead 113-112, Scott knocked in a 17-footer.

Needing a three-pointer to tie, the Warriors got their chance. Hardaway forced up a shot that missed badly but got the ball back when the rebound was batted out.

This time, Hardaway's three-point attempt barely missed.

The Lakers and Warriors were still rolling on the floor chasing the rebound when the buzzer went off.

Ask the Lakers, that's entertainment.

The Warriors floated into the evening off their upset at the Forum. When they practiced the next day, members of their front office stood on the sideline and clapped.

Mullin, Richmond and Hardaway had dinner with Run DMC that night.

TMC said DMC could talk, all right.

"Run [a group member] said, 'I'm getting ready to take you . . . to the hoop,' " Hardaway said before the game.

"I said, 'Did I hear correct?' "

For the record, TMC beat DMC, 4-0.

The rap group returned Friday night to do a three-minute introduction of the starting lineups, making everyone glad this wasn't an 11-man football team. Immediately thereafter, the proceedings turned tense.

The Lakers drilled it into James Worthy and Sam Perkins, beginning in their post-up game in earnest. Perkins went through three centers in the first quarter, sending Alton Lister to the bench with two fouls, Jim Petersen with three, Tyrone Hill with two, and producing entry No. 4, Tom Tolbert.

At their defensive end, Mike Dunleavy switched the 6-9 Johnson onto the 5-11 Tim Hardaway, to try to keep the Warrior point guard out of the middle. It worked well enough to limit the Warriors to 24 points in the first period, their low quarter of the series.

The Lakers grabbed an early 13-point lead but gave it back in a hurry, under familiar circumstances. Johnson sat down in the second period with the Lakers up, 39-30. By the time Dunleavy rushed him back in 3:31 later, the Lakers' lead was down to 41-40.

Worthy then scored reached over the 6-4 Mario Elie and Co. for eight points in the last 5:43 of the half and the Lakers went back up, 57-50.

The Lakers' lead lasted all of 1:38 into the third quarter. The first three Warrior shots dropped, including Rod Higgins' three-pointer and it was 57-57.

After that, they battled on even terms. The Lakers stopped TMC at the end of the third period and grabbed an 81-78 lead.

The fourth quarter started and the Lakers' defense held.

With 6:15 left, Worthy dropped a 16-footer for his 31st and 32nd points and the Lakers led, 97-87.

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