The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 30, 1998 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 30, 1998
Page 13
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THE SALINA JOURNAL SPORTS SATURDAY, MAY 30, 1998 B3 T PRO BASKETBALL Pacers edge Bulls, force Game 7 Best, Smits, Davis all come up big for Indiana in thrilling victory over defending champs By CHRIS SHERIDAN The Associated Press GAME 6 Bulls 89 Pacers 92 INDIANAPOLIS — The Chicago Bulls aren't going to the NBA Finals just yet — and maybe not at all. Instead, they'll be going where Michael Jordan hasn't been in six years — a Game 7. Jordan had an unusually mortal moment when the Bulls needed him most, slipping and falling as he drove to the basket for what would have been a tying hoop with less than five seconds left. He lost the ball, the Pacers recovered and finished it off with a free throw for a 92-89 .victory in Game 6 of the Eastern Confer, ence finals on Friday night. . , Game 7 will be Sunday night at the Unit. ed Center, and one more slip-up could mean the end of the Bulls' dynasty. It will be Chicago's first Game 7 with Jordan on the team since the second round ipf the 1992 playoffs. •.... For the Pacers, it will be their third , Game 7 in a conference finals in five .years. They lost in 1994 to New York and in 1995 to Orlando. ., This time, they can thank Travis Best, Rik Smits and Dale Davis — and not Reggie Miller — for getting them there. Best refused to flinch despite being guarded by Jordan in the final minute. He hit a driving 6-footer with 33 seconds left .for an 89-87 lead and actually drew a foul on ..Jordan with 8.5 seconds left that led to two free throws that gave Indiana a 91-89 lead. Chicago called a timeout to set up a final play, and it was no surprise to anyone .when the Bulls inbounded to Jordan. Guarded by Derrick McKey, he made a The Associated Press Chicago's Michael Jordan tries to drive to the basket against the Pacers' Reggie Miller in Friday's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. move to his right and stumbled. Coach Phil jackson popped off the bench looking for a foul, but the ball popped loose, and McKey grabbed it and was fouled. With confetti prematurely falling from the rafters, McKey made the first free throw and then purposely missed the second so that the clock would expire. Smits finished with 25 points on ll-for-12 shooting, Davis had 19 points and eight rebounds and Mark Jackson added 13 points for the Pacers. Miller shot just 2-for-13 and had eight points. Jazz play waiting game SALT LAKE CITY — All week, they've run drills, worked out and watched tape. The Utah Jazz insist they're ready for the NBA Finals. Now, if they only knew which team they were playing. Then the Jazz could turn to the matter that has preoccupied them all season. "We made it to this point last year, and that wasn't good enough," Karl Malone said. "We haven't done nothing yet. I'm looking forward to the finals, and nothing else." When the clock ran out on the Lakers, the Jazz showed none of the excitement from last season, when they won their first Western Conference championship. Coach Jerry Sloan, for one, didn't crack a smile when he left the Forum court. "I never heard anybody say we weren't supposed to be happy," Sloan said. "There's a tremendous amount of enthusiasm in all of us, but we've always been pretty businesslike. A lot of people talked about the way we left, but it never even entered my mind." This no-nonsense approach has carried over to Utah's workouts this week. "It's not like we were perfect and we didn't have anything to work on," Sloan said. "We still need practice on offense and defense." Utah averaged 101 points per game during the season but has scored nearly 93 points a game during the playoffs. That average is skewed by a 64-point effort in Game 3 of the conference semifinals against San Antonio. "We're not scoring a whole lot of points," Sloan said. Added Malone: "We're scoring enough to win. That's the way we've always been. We don't ever run up the score, so we get our points and do the rest on the other end." The Jazz have won 10 of their last 11 games largely through defense. Utah is allowing just 86 points a game in the playoffs, down from 94 during the season. Opponents are shooting 41 percent in the playoffs and just 25 percent on 3-pointers. T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL King leads Royals to victory over As First baseman drives in five runs as KG pushes winning streak to four By DOUG TUCKER Tlie Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Now, this is the kind of streak a team can be proud of. With Jeff King driving in every Kansas City run, the Royals ral- - •• - ., lied to beat AL 3 A's Royals 5 Oakland 5-3 Friday night to snap their s i x - g a m e home losing skid and stretch their overall winning streak to four — their longest since September 1996. After closing a road trip with three straight wins, the Royals had begun this seven-game homes- tand just two short of tying the franchise record of eight consecutive losses at home. Taking heat from the media and fans, the home frustration had become a sore point with the entire team. "We're aware of what's going on here," said King, who had a bases- loaded triple in the seventh and a bases-loaded single in the fifth. "It's one of those things that are hard to explain in baseball. We could have just been trying too hard at home. Normally, when you try too hard, you make things worse. It's nice to keep this little winning streak going, that's for sure." The A's took a 3-2 lead into the seventh. Then Mike Mohler (0-2) gave up a walk and a single, and was relieved by Mike Fetters, who u - } Honoring Quiz What: Former relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry will be inducted into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame. -j When: Tonight, beginning at 6:57 at Kauffman Stadium. . The ceremony: master of cermonies is Denny " Matthews, radio voice of the Royals; Paul Splittorff, ' representing Quisenberry's teammates, will speak; a brief video presentation will follow on the JumboTron; Dan Quisenberry will then speak. loaded the bases by walking Dean Palmer. : <•• King, who had only five RBIs in his 20 previous games, then went with a breaking pitch and lined it into the right-field corner for, a triple. ' "I think in the last couple of weeks I've been falling off the ball," said King, who now has seven five-RBI games. "So I decided to try to use the whole field a little bit and just stay on the ball a lit|le better." '.fi The Royals came in with a major league-worst 6-18 home recor4, and were winless at Kauffman Sfa- dium since May 7. "We got only one hit after the fifth inning," said Oakland manager Art Howe. "We've got to keep the heat on. That's been happening too often. I don't know why, but it has been." PRO TENNIS French Open , PARIS — A look at Friday's play *;Men's winners — Marceto RIos (3), Michael Chang (11), Carlos Moya (12), Albert Costa (13), Alex Corretja (14), Felix Mantilla (15) and Alberto Berasategui (16). Women's winners — Martina Hingis (1), Jana Novotna (3), Monica Seles (6), Venus Williams (8), Iva Majoli (10) and Anna ,."Kournikova(13). • i( Losers — Patrick Ratter (4) lost to Jason " Stoltenberg; Gustavo Kuerten (8) lost to Marat Safin. Today's schedule — Men: Richard Kra- jioek (10) vs. Cedric Pioline, Michael Chang •a' (11) vs. Francisco Clavet, Alex Corretja i(14) vs. Hernan Gumy, Alberto Berasategui ;(16) vs. Dominik Hrbaty. , Women: Lindsay Davenport (2) vs. Elena Llkhovtseva, Arantxa Sanchez. Vicarlo (4) vs, Alexandra Fusai, Conchlta,Martinez (7) vs. Virginia Ruano-Pascual, Iva Majoli (10) , vs. Mariana Diaz-Olivia, Sandrine Testud (14) vs. Gala Leon Garcia and Dominique van Roost (15) vs. Serena Williams. T AUTO RACING: MBNA PLATINUM 400 Safin pulls upset; U.S. hopes rest on Chang 18-year-old Russian topples defending champ Kuerten; Chang reaches third round By ROB GLOSTER The Associated Press PARIS — While an 18-year-old Russian qualifier was pulling off an upset unprecedented in Grand Slam tennis, American men were making history of their own at the French Open — for ineptitude. Marat Safin, ranked 116th in the world and playing in his first Grand Slam tournament, continued his remarkable run through the early rounds Friday by ousting defending champion Gustavo Kuerten. Only one American, llth-seeded Michael Chang, reached the third round — the worst showing by U.S. men at a Grand Slam tournament in at least 30 years. Safin slammed 18 aces while defeating the eighth-seeded Kuerten 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 36, 6-1, 6-4 in the second round to become the first qualifier — male or female — to beat a defending Grand Slam champion since the open era began in 1968. Kuerten's elimination left only one of the top nine men's seeds — No. 3 Marcelo Rios — in the tournament. It is the first time in the open era only one of the top eight men's seeds has advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam event. Even Safin, who had to win three qualifying matches to make it into the tournament and then shocked Andre Agassi in the first round, seemed astounded at his consecutive wins over top-20 players. "Against Andre and Gustavo I start to hit and everything gets in," he said. "It's just luck, maybe one or two days. Maybe the next day I will hit everything out." Safin, a 6-foot-4 Moscow native who lives in Spain, had bad cramps after his win over Agassi and benefited from an extra day of rest when his match against Kuerten was rained out Thursday. Safin had two aces in the final game against Kuerten, a Brazilian who was ranked 66th when he startled the tennis world by winning the French Open title last year. "He was a little nervous in the last set. He was the defending champion trying to defend his title," said Safin, whose mother is a former semifinalist of the French Open junior tournament. Chang, the lone survivor among the dozen American men who began the tournament, was leading 7-5,6-2,3-0 when John Van Lottum of the Netherlands retired'in the third set with a strained buttock. This is the first time in the open era that only one American man has made it to the third round at a Grand Slam event. Records were not available from before the open era. The worst previous showing at Roland Garros was in 1970, when two Americans — Arthur Ashe and Cliff Richey — made it past the second round. '.'•.' "I think the French Open has been>a tournament that's been a little bit frustrating for American players, particularly on the men's side, because the depth is so great here and so many players are in such great shape and they know the surface so well," said Chang. Wallace 'big fan of the concrete Wallace wins pole with record-breaking effort at the Monster Mile By DICK BRINSTER The Associated Press DOVER, Del. — Rusty Wallace, winner of the last three races on the asphalt surface at Dover Downs, proved he also has mastered the concrete at the Monster Mile with a record-breaking qualifying effort Friday. • "I've become a big fan of the concrete," Wallace said after taking the pole for the MBNA Platinum 400 with a lap of 155.898 mph. "The track is very consistent, and a I like that." In claiming his second pole of the Winston Cup season, Wallace beat a triumvirate of Dover hotshots — Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte. Wallace's Ford edged points leader Gordon's Chevrolet, which went 155.039. . Martin also did well, touring the high-banked oval in his Ford at, 155.012 to lock up the inside of the second row for the $1.7 million race Sunday. "The lap I ran was a real cool one," Wallace said. "The front stuck real good. The rear was just dangling out a little bit, but it wasn't so far out that you couldn't stay wide open in the throttle." That he did, oblivious to the reputation of the track as one of the most demanding on the NASCAR circuit. "In order to run fast you've got to'have it on the edge," Wallace explained, admitting that he didn't always do that in qualifying. "I got down on myself about qualifying, but all year long my qualify ing's been great." Wallace likes to joke that Dover officials changed the track because he won the fall race in 1993 and both events the next season. In reality, it was done because the harsh winters had made the asphalt surface The Associated Press Rusty Wallace is surrounded by crew members and media Firday after winning the pole position for Sunday's MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Del. what Martin once called "scary." "One of the things I like about the concrete is that it stays even, and you don't get oil and grease making it slick," Wallace said. "The surface is very smooth." Smooth wasn't how Labonte — who set the previous track record of 155.086 in 1996 — would describe his run. He was 35th of 46 drivers who attempted to qualify, managing only 152.053 in his Pontiac. "We're just not running well," Labonte said. "Other than I forgot how to drive since Charlotte, I don't know what the problem is." Gordon, Who won last there last weekend, certainly didn't forget how to get around Dover's White Lightning surface. "We just wanted to end up in the top five," said Gordon, who shares with Wallace and David Pearson the distinction of three straight Dover victories. "We were happy with the lap." So was Martin, with Gordon the only three-time winner this year. "It was perfect lap for us," Martin said. "It just wasn't quite fast enough." Wallace, winless this season despite being at or near the top of the standings since the start, hopes the pole translates into a victory. "Things are going great for us this year, but we're due to win one," he said. He led a surge of Fords that took five of the first six starting positions. After Martin came Dale Jarrett, who turned his lap at 154.706. Defending race champion and four-time Dover winner Ricky Rudd was next at 154.633. Rounding out the top 10 were the Chevy of Joe Nemechek, the Ford of Rick Mast, the Pontiac of Ernie Irvan, the Ford of rookie Kenny Irwin and the Pontiac of Ward Burton. Lawnboy 10227 Push Mower Reg. $289.95 Toro 8-25 ompact iecycler Rider Reg. $1,529 Stihl 029 with 16 bar JITroybilt 5 hp lectric llStart Trailblazef Reg. $1,699 Stihl BG75 Gas Blower Toro Model 20476 Deluxe E.S. 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