Shaw haunts old teammates with big 3s
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- When Kobe Bryant broke his hand in the Los Angeles Lakers' exhibition opener nearly eight months ago, little did they know it would be one of their best breaks of the season.

Shortly thereafter, the Lakers placed a telephone call to Brian Shaw, who, ironically, was one of the six players Portland traded to Houston for Scottie Pippen. Shaw was later released by the Rockets.

Brian Shaw
Brian Shaw tries to drive by Detlef Schrempf on Sunday.

"If Kobe doesn't break his hand, I might be up in Oakland on a fishing boat fishing," Shaw said with a smile after helping the Lakers rally for an 89-84 victory over the Trail Blazers on Sunday in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. "I'm just happy to be here, happy to have the opportunity to be productive."

The 34-year-old guard certainly was against the Blazers, scoring 11 points in 17 minutes.

His 3-pointer that banked in with 4.4 seconds left in the third quarter cut Portland's lead to 71-58, and he made two more 3s during a 15-0 run in the final period that tied the game 75-all with four minutes remaining.

"Brian Shaw banked in a 3-pointer, and that was a big play that enabled them to begin cutting the lead," Blazers coach Mike Dunleavy said.

"After Shaw hit that 3-pointer off the glass, we thought that was the turning point," Lakers forward Glen Rice said.

"I didn't call (bank), I can't lie," Shaw said with a smile. "I've been in a pretty good rhythm this whole series, stroking them from outside."

A first-round draft pick of the Boston Celtics in 1988, Shaw was limited to one game for the Blazers last season due to injury, but he averaged 4.1 points in 74 games as a Lakers' reserve this season and 6.0 points in the playoffs before Sunday.

"I thought he turned the game around for us," Lakers assistant coach Tex Winter said. "He's a veteran, we're very fortunate to have him. He was really a fine pickup for us, we needed depth behind Ron Harper after Kobe got hurt. He gave us another big guard, (coach) Phil (Jackson) likes those big guards."

Shaw and Shaquille O'Neal played together for the Orlando Magic in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. O'Neal put Shaw's jersey on after the Lakers beat the Blazers 103-91 in Game 4 of this series to show support for the 6-foot-6 Shaw, who was suspended for that game for coming off the bench during an altercation two nights earlier.

"B. Shaw carried us, he made shot big shots, some big 3s," said Lakers forward Robert Horry, who helped out himself with 12 points off the bench. "Once he got us close, we took care of business. We closed them out like we were supposed to do."

The Lakers outscored the Blazers 29-9 to finish the game.

"Our defense was lucky, they still got a lot of easy shots, they just missed them," Horry said.

Shaw said the comeback showed a lot about the Lakers' character.

"We were faced with adversity today, and throughout the entire series," he said. "I wasn't nervous, but it wasn't looking good. I'm not amazed, maybe it will sink in a little more. This team has a lot of fight."

Now, Shaw and the Lakers face the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Finals.

"I'll get to see my old teammate now as a coach," he said with a smile, referring to Pacers coach Larry Bird with whom he played in Boston. Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
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Lakers rally to eliminate Blazers, advance to Finals

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Brian Shaw explains his big 3-pointer and Shaq's role in Game 7.
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Brian Shaw tells how the Lakers overcame the Blazers' lead Sunday.
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