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Horry Looking Better With Playoffs in Sight

He showed he was fine. Robert Horry had 13 rebounds and 10 points Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks.

Then he said he was fine: “I’m at 100%.”

Whether he stays there remains to be seen, given his injury-plagued second half, but Horry has already offered encouraging evidence to the Lakers that he will, indeed, be at full strength when the playoffs begin next Thursday or Friday at the Great Western Forum.

He has gone from sitting out four of the previous five games, and being forced from the other one early, because of a strained left Achilles’ tendon, to impressing in the last two.

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“He’s moving very well,” Coach Del Harris said.

Horry hadn’t played for seven days when he returned to uniform and the starting lineup Monday, so Harris, wanting to play Horry only at the start of each half to make sure he was warmed up, used him only 15 minutes at San Antonio.

But the next night, at Dallas, Horry played 30 minutes, grabbed six of his 13 rebounds on the offensive end, and recorded a double-double.

“They tell me he can play, he says he can play,” Harris said. “So he plays.”

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The Lakers ended their regular-season road schedule by winning seven in a row and 14 of the last 18 and sweeping the final two trips, a four-gamer and a three-gamer.

The late charge not only guaranteed them the best such record in the league for the first time since 1989-90, but also a tie for the second-most road victories in franchise history at 28, topped only by the 31 by the 1971-72 club.

“We’re one of those teams that likes playing on the road more so than at home,” Eddie Jones said. “We enjoy being in an arena where nobody likes us. Unfortunately, everybody likes us wherever we go.”

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Unfortunately?

“Unfortunately for the other team,” Jones said.

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Magic numbers:

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* Seattle over the Lakers for the Pacific Division title: 1, meaning the SuperSonics can clinch as soon as Friday, when they play San Antonio and the Lakers face the Mavericks.

* Utah over the Lakers for home-court advantage in the second round, if needed: 3.

The Jazz finishes against Sacramento (Thursday), Phoenix (Friday) and at the Lakers (Sunday). The SuperSonics finish versus San Antonio and at Portland (Sunday).


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