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MavsFanFinley
04-04-2002, 11:36 PM
By JIMMY GOLEN
AP Sports Writer
April 4, 2002

BOSTON (AP) -- Tests on Shaquille O'Neal's sprained right wrist showed no broken bones, but the Los Angeles Lakers center will probably miss Friday night's game against the Boston Celtics.

O'Neal missed practice Thursday to see a doctor after the injury kept him out of Wednesday night's 94-92 loss to the New Jersey Nets. X-rays and a CAT scan showed two old fractures that had healed, but no new ones. Lakers spokesman John Black said the old injuries were not thought to be causing O'Neal's current problem.

``We'll see how the wrist is (Friday) morning and how it reacts before the game,'' Black said. ``At this point, I would call him doubtful.''

O'Neal, the NBA's second-leading scorer with a 26.7 point average, appeared to hurt the wrist Sunday in a 96-95 win over the San Antonio Spurs. He had 22 points and 18 rebounds on Tuesday night in a win over Washington.

``We'll just try to hold the fort down until he gets back,'' Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said after the team practiced at a Boston health club. ``Hopefully, the big fella, we'll get him back soon and healthy for the playoffs.''

Lakers coach Phil Jackson also missed practice on Thursday because he was not feeling well, and Samaki Walker was absent with a stomach virus.

``Our health is our main concern right now,'' Bryant said. ``We've got to get everybody healthy going into the playoffs.''

At 53-22, the Lakers are 2 1/2 games behind Sacramento for the NBA's best record. Los Angeles has seven games remaining to catch the Kings, an uphill climb that becomes even more of a long shot if O'Neal has to miss an extended period of time.

The Lakers aren't putting too much emphasis on earning homecourt advantage through the playoffs, noting that last year they finished second to San Antonio and still swept the Spurs in the conference finals before winning the NBA title.

``We just need to get him as healthy as possible and forget about chasing the team with the best record,'' Lakers guard Brian Shaw said. ``If he has to miss the rest of the games the rest of the way, so be it -- as long as we can get him ready for the playoffs.''

Drbio
04-05-2002, 07:07 PM
After hearing that he didn't have a broken bone, I was glad to hear it. I want to beat that baby face putz head on. When the Mavs finally overtake the Leakers, I don't want anyone to be able to say that it was only because Shaq was out.

Hoopsmeister
04-05-2002, 07:50 PM
Preach it Doc.

MavsFanFinley
04-05-2002, 08:37 PM
I hear ya too DR.

But, you know that if anyone beats them in a series it'll be because of his wrist or toe. It doesn't matter that everyone is saying that nothing is slowing him down now, you'll only hear about it if they lose.

But, yeah, if we beat them in a series I want him to be healthy so they can't use that as an excuse.

djb
04-05-2002, 08:44 PM
I could care less if he's healthy or not. A championship's a championship! I'm in favor of whatever increases our odds.

Drbio
04-06-2002, 12:50 AM
A championship's a championship!

The athlete in me says hogwash but the Mavs fan in me says hell yeah!