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LAKER NOTES

The Trail Blazers arrived in their Rose Garden locker room before Game 3 to discover that the place had been slightly redecorated.

On the cooler holding their cold drinks was taped an L.A. Times column that had been critical of their behavior in the first two games. Highlighted in yellow were sentences that essentially referred to the Trail Blazers as whining children.

Gary Grant, Trail Blazer veteran guard, claimed he had not seen the column. But he immediately defended his team against charges of childishness.

“Just because we yell at the referees means we’re babies?” he said. “Look at Charles Barkley. He yells at the referees all the time, and nobody ever says he is just a kid.”

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Grant says his team is unfairly portrayed as immature.

“We’re like all the other teams,” he said. “We just go out and play.”

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A couple of hours before Game 3, the Lakers’ Derek Fisher was the only player on the Rose Garden court, repeatedly shooting jump shots.

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Damon Stoudamire, Fisher’s point guard counterpart for the Trail Blazers, was nowhere to be found.

Perhaps the reason is that, in the first two games Fisher had shot 57%, and Stoudamire 35% percent.

Or that Stoudamire had made 10 turnovers while Fisher had none.

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Best Playoff Sight So Far: On a rare 80-degree day in Portland, a fan inside the Rose Garden was wearing a Russian-style fur hat adorned with the sign “Sabonis Rules,” in tribute to Trail Blazer center Arvydas Sabonis.

Worst Playoff Sight So Far: While the Rose Garden scoreboard was showing a video clip from “Hoosiers"--apparently in an attempt to stir up old-time basketball values--parts of the scoreboard were obscured by a giant flying hardware store blimp.


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