Lakers Lose At Home
Wednesday, May 31st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- That home-court advantage the Los Angeles Lakers worked so hard to earn with 67 regular-season victories? Forget it. In the Western Conference finals, home is where the hurt is. The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Lakers in Los Angeles for the second time in a row and third time this season Tuesday night, a convincing 96-88 victory that forces Game 6 Friday night in Portland. "Obviously you all don't listen to me when I talk," Blazers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "I told you from the very beginning that I didn't think there was a home-court advantage in this series. I thought that either team was capable of winning every game on the other team's court." The last four games of the series have been won by the visitor. The only home court win came in Los Angeles in Game 1. The Trail Blazers, still down 3-2, can force a deciding Game 7 if they can finally win one at home. "We just have to wipe out the fact that we lost two games at home," Portland's Scottie Pippen said. "We know in our hearts that we can outplay them." Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Pippen shouldn't even have been allowed in the game. But, even though he played three quarters with two dislocated fingers on his left hand, Pippen was in this one in a big way. "That's just Pip being a warrior. This is no time to sit out, "teammate Rasheed Wallace said. "Like the other night when I hurt my ankle. That team is just too tough for us to sit out." Jackson said he told Pippen he should have been suspended for a game for elbowing John Salley in the back of the head late in Portland's home court loss in Game 4 Sunday. "He shouldn't have been playing in this ballgame," Jackson said. "He clearly threw a cheap-shot elbow to the back of the head and he just got fined $10,000. I wanted to tell him that he was a presence who shouldn't have been there.