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NO. 2 SEATTLE AT NO. 3 LOS ANGELES

WHAT: Best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal.

TV: Game 1, 9 tonight, TNT.

WHERE: KeyArena, Seattle.

RECORDS: Lakers 61-21, Sonics 61-21.

COACHES: Lakers _ Del Harris. Sonics _ George Karl.

KEY PLAYERS: Lakers _ Shaquille O'Neal, C (28.3 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 2.4 bpg), Eddie Jones, G (16.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg), Nick Van Exel, G (13.8 ppg, 6.9 apg), Rick Fox, F (12.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg). Sonics _ Gary Payton, G (19.2 ppg, 8.3 apg, 4.6 rpg, 2.2 spg), Vin Baker, C (19.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg), Detlef Schrempf, F (15.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg).

SERIES: Sonics 3-1.

THE LINE: This has the magnitude of an NBA Finals. Seattle owned Los Angeles during the regular season, but the Lakers are more rested and playing better. Look for Baker to have trouble with O'Neal, and Lakers guards to match Sonics' quickness. Also, look for Los Angeles to make Seattle pay for lapses in concentration.

_ Darrell Fry's prediction: Lakers in seven.

Up next:CELTICS

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