Green's 19 points help rebounding Lakers hold off Bullets, 92-89

March 15, 1992|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- The Los Angeles Lakers are doing their best to embarrass the critics ready to consign them to the NBA scrap pile.

Faced with their toughest Eastern swing of the season, the Lakers won their third of four games by outlasting the Washington Bullets, 92-89, before a Capital Centre sellout of 18,756.

A.C. Green, starting in place of ailing forward James Worthy, led a well-balanced offense with 19 points.

The Bullets (22-43) were within a point (86-85) with 21 seconds left when Byron Scott drove the lane. His shot was seemingly swatted away by Pervis Ellison, but Ledell Eackles was called for foul. Scott converted the two free throws.

A.J. English matched these foul shots for the Bullets. Washington tried a back-court trap, and David Wingate almost picked off a pass. Harvey Grant then fouled Green, who swished two foul shots to regain a three-point lead with 15 seconds remaining.

Grant's rebounding basket made it 90-89. Vlade Divac, playing his longest stretch in two months, answered with two free throws with 6.6 seconds left. Grant's three-point attempt to tie the score bounced off the back of the rim as the final buzzer sounded.

Eackles led the Bullets (22-43) with 21 points.

By winning, the Lakers (34-30) remained ahead of the cross-town L.A. Clippers in the battle for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

The Lakers had adjusted to playing without Magic Johnson, their peerless playmaker who has missed the entire season after being infected with the AIDS virus.

But the Lakers have also been forced to play 44 games without center Divac, who was out with a back injury.

Divac has seen limited playing time since being re-activated Feb. 26.

"We're trying to find minutes for Vlade while at the same time trying to win games," said Lakers coach Mike Dunleavy. "He hasn't been real physical and his timing still isn't what it should be."

The Lakers were also without scoring leader Worthy. The small forward and team captain was placed on the injured list Tuesday with a sore knee.

"Without Magic delivering the ball, we've used a lot more motion in our offense," Dunleavy said. "We've got to try to get some easy baskets."

With Sedale Threatt running the show, the Lakers jumped out to a 5-2 lead before the Bullets answered with six straight points.

But Washington went scoreless for the next three minutes while Scott and Sam Perkins sparked an 8-0 Lakers run. At this point, the Bullets were shooting 6-for-19 from the field.

A jump shot by Wingate marked Washington's first field goal in more than three minutes. But the Lakers ended the first quarter with a 21-18 edge. Washington shot 33 percent (8-for-24) in the period.

The Bullets blew several fast-break opportunities while Los Angeles stretched its advantage to 27-22, with Green pounding the offensive boards. Ellison, with 10 points, was Washington's only offensive threat.

Andre Turner replaced Michael Adams at the point and made two acrobatic layups to pull the Bullets within a point, 29-28.

Wes Unseld used a small lineup featuring Turner, Eackles and English, but despite a pair of baskets by Eackles and English, the Lakers maintained a 39-36 lead.

The Bullets finally pulled even at 41 on a follow-up by English in the lane. They moved ahead, 43-42, on Eackles' two free throws. After another tie at 45, Grant beat the buzzer with a scoop shot to give Washington a 47-45 halftime lead.

FG FT Reb

LA Lakers Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts.

Green 41 3-8 13-14 2-9 0 0 19

Perkins 39 3-7 6-8 1-13 0 1 12

Campbell 18 0-4 0-0 1-4 0 2 0

Scott 24 3-10 5-6 1-4 1 3 12

Threatt 38 8-17 2-2 0-3 3 2 18

Brown 22 2-7 2-2 3-6 1 4 6

Teagle 13 0-3 0-0 0-1 2 2 0

Divac 24 4-8 4-4 3-8 0 3 12

Smith 21 4-9 5-5 0-1 1 1 13

Totals 240 27-73 37-41 11-49 8 18 92

Percentages: FG .370, FT .902. 3-point goals: 1-2, .500 (Scott 1-1, Campbell 0-1). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 2 (Green, Campbell). Turnovers: 12 (Threatt 3, Teagle 3, Brown 2, Green, ++ Perkins, Divac, T.Smith). Steals: 8 (Divac 3, Green 2, Perkins, Scott, Threatt). Technical fouls: None. Illegal defense: None.

FT Reb

Washington Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts.

Grant 37 6-16 1-2 4-8 1 2 13

Jones 29 1-1 0-2 2-10 0 4 2

Ellison 41 7-20 4-6 4-11 0 4 18

Adams 27 3-10 0-0 1-5 7 2 7

Wingate 24 3-8 0-0 2-6 3 2 6

Eackles 24 9-19 3-4 2-2 1 6 21

Stewart 14 1-3 0-0 0-2 0 2 2

English 22 5-9 4-4 1-1 0 4 14

Turner 21 3-3 0-0 0-1 5 1 6

Smith 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 240 38-90 12-18 16-46 17 27 89

Percentages: FG .422, FT .667. 3-point goals: 1-5, .200 (Adams 1-3, Grant 0-1, L.Smith 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (Ellison 3, Jones). Turnovers: 11 (Grant 3, Ellison 3, English 2, Adams, Wingate, Eackles). Steals: 5 (Jones, Ellison, Adams, Eackles, Turner). Technical fouls: None. Illegal defense: None.

Lakers 21 24 21 26 -- 92

Washington 18 29 17 25 -- 89

A: 18,756. T: 2:14.

I= Officials: Dick Bavetta, Bruce Alexander, George Toliver.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.