Lakers' Worthy, Scott likely to miss Game 5

June 11, 1991|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Correspondent

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Injured Los Angeles Lakers forward James Worthy (ankle) and shooting guard Byron Scott (shoulder) were listed as questionable for Game 5 of the NBA Finals with the Chicago Bulls tomorrow night, but of the two, Worthy seemed less likely to play.

"With a badly sprained ankle, you generally need three weeks to a month to get back, but I've only got a few days between games," said Worthy, who first injured his left ankle in Game 5 against Portland in the Western Conference finals.

He has been hobbling noticeably, and his inability to soar to the hoop for stuff shots and finger rolls has put a crimp in the Lakers' already-limited offense.

In Game 4 on Sunday, he scored 12 points, but left the court for good with 2 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

"It was a little bit more painful than in other games," he said. "I wasn't able to turn quickly from the post. There were a couple of instances where I needed to stop on a dime, but it felt like I re-injured it again.

"I'm a spontaneous player, but now I don't have the mobility to do what I want to do."

Even before Scott jammed his right shoulder in a collision with Bulls center Bill Cartwright in the fourth quarter Sunday, he was having difficulty scoring.

In four games, Scott, considered the Lakers' prime outside threat, has made five field goals. He ended an 0-for-10 slump by hitting his last two shots in Game 4.

"I don't know if I can play or not," he said at practice yesterday. "I've got to get some treatment and then check with our medical people."

* Help wanted: Lakers coach Mike Dunleavy has been reluctant to turn to his bench, and for good reason. Aside from forward A.C. Green, who has averaged 6.3 points and 5.2 rebounds, the reserves have been meager contributors. Terry Teagle, Larry Drew, Elden Campbell and Mychal Thompson have shot a combined 7-for-28 from the field.

* Unexpected ally: The Bulls and Detroit Pistons are bitter rivals, but Bulls reserve forward Cliff Levingston received some surprising advice from Pistons counterpart John Salley before the finals began.

"Salley called me to tell me I should shoot more because the Lakers would sag on me," said Levingston. "I've been following his advice."

The Bulls' offense has got a dividend from defensive-minded Levingston, who has hit eight of his 12 shots in the championship series.

* Get the hook: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the legendary center of the Lakers, joined his old team on the bench Sunday and did not enjoy the view, as the Bulls breezed, 97-82.

"The matchups are working against the Lakers," he said. "They're not getting help from the bench, and only [center] Vlade Divac and Magic [Johnson] are scoring. Someone else has to step up and contribute."

* Mismatch: The ballyhooed showdown between the Bulls' Michael Jordan and Johnson is becoming one-sided. Jordan has more points, rebounds, blocked shots and even more assists than Johnson, recognized as the game's premier playmaker.

How low they go

The NBA instituted the 24-second shot clock starting the 1954-55 season. Below is a list of teams that have scored 82 points or fewer in the NBA Finals since 1955:

Year ... Score

1955 ... Syracuse 86, Fort Wayne 82

1955 ... Fort Wayne 74, Syracuse 71

1976 ... Boston 87, Phoenix 80

1978 ... Washington 117, Seattle 82

1979 ... Seattle 92, Washington 82

1981 ... Boston 94, Houston 71

1981 ... Boston 109, Houston 80

1991 ... Chicago 97, L.A. Lakers 82

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