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Fox First to Admit He Played Like a Hound

Times Staff Writer

They don’t all glide from one game to the next, from March to April to who knows, without dragging small pieces of yesterday along with them.

Some Lakers go along better than others. Kobe Bryant brushes away losses like crumbs from his tie, Shaquille O’Neal generally is on to the next thing before his foot hits the first step on the bus. They are the superstars, and they must carry the next day, and the next, so don’t prolong the failures that come with 82 games sprinkled over six months.

Rick Fox, try as he might, wallowed for a time in Sunday’s loss in San Antonio, the noon start that ruined his game.

Afterward, he sat in the locker room, lifting his feet from whipping cables as cameramen dashed from Bryant to O’Neal and back, and sighed. During the game, he had heard the Spur fan behind him, telling him how terrible he was.

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“Today,” he said, “I can’t argue with him.”

He had four points and five turnovers in 21 minutes. Phil Jackson sensed it, and played Fox six minutes in the second half, none in the fourth quarter, as the Lakers rallied and fell short.

“I [was terrible],” Fox said. “You can print that.”

A moment later, Jackson walked up and leaned against a locker.

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“Phil, you want to add to that?” Fox said.

Jackson smiled and dismissed it.

“Ten o’clock in L.A.,” he said. “That’s a hard one.”

*

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The trials keep coming for Mark Madsen, who in recent weeks has gone from the end of the Laker bench to the lead role in defending Kevin Garnett, Chris Webber, Tim Duncan, Antoine Walker, Tim Thomas and, tonight, Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Jackson has watched closely, Robert Horry at the ready, Samaki Walker logging minutes at center exclusively now.

“We’ll see what comes along the way, see how far it takes us,” Jackson said.

*

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Laker playoff tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday at all Ticketmaster locations, by telephone at 1-800-4NBATIX and on the Internet at www.ticketmaster.com.

Tickets will not be sold at the Staples Center box office.

TONIGHT

at Atlanta, 4:30 p.m. (TV: 5:30, Ch. 9)

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Site -- Philips Arena

Radio -- KLAC-AM (570), KWKW-AM (1330), KIRN (670)

Records -- Lakers 39-30, Hawks 29-42.

Record vs. Hawks -- 0-1.

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Update -- The Hawks beat the Lakers in Los Angeles, 95-83, on Nov. 12. Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 26 points and 10 rebounds. A lot has changed since for the Hawks, whose money-back guarantee of a playoff berth to season-ticket holders will cost the team about $500,000. True to their talent, the Hawks have won two in a row, at Philadelphia and against Indiana. They are 21-13 at home. Glenn Robinson (21.1) and Abdur-Rahim (20.3) rank seventh in the league as a scoring tandem. Bryant (30.1) and O’Neal (27.1) lead.


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