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RILEY GIVES JAZZ CREDIT FOR HELPING LAKERS BREEZE IN POSTSEASON

SHARE RILEY GIVES JAZZ CREDIT FOR HELPING LAKERS BREEZE IN POSTSEASON

The Los Angeles Lakers are still undefeated in the postseason as they enter the NBA Finals Tuesday night, and Coach Pat Riley thanks the Jazz for that.

"We avoided our greatest adversary in the West," Riley noted before practice Monday. "When Utah was thinking about us while they were playing Golden State, they ended up on vacation."During the Lakers' razing of the West, Riley was asked if the sweeps surprised him. "I'm surprised by some of the other teams, like the Utah Jazz," he replied.

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Here's the Adrian Dantley that only Joe Dumars knows. Remembering that he and A.D. always used to talk about winning a championship, Dumars related this conversation in the Detroit Free Press:

"He used to say that if we won it, he would stand on the table in the middle of the locker room and do something crazy. You know, start singing and dancing, scream and holler, something he'd never do any other time.

"I said, `No, you wouldn't.'

"He said, `Yes, I will.

"I said, `Bet me, so I'll be sure you'll back it up.'

"And he did. He bet me part of his playoff share - like $1,000. And with A.D., if you know him, you know he was serious if he did that."

Dumars was still awaiting word Monday whether Dantley would visit him for the series.

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Mark Aguirre will be attending the Finals, just like always. He'll be playing for the first time, though.

Aguirre claims to have attended every game of the Finals for his seven NBA years - all but one game, that is. He skipped Game 7 of the Lakers-Pistons series last June, with buddies Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson squaring off. "I just couldn't take it," Aguirre said. "I didn't know which locker room to go to, so I just left."

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CBS-TV is trying to line up Karl Malone for a live halftime appearance during Game 3 Sunday . . . Jazz officials went to Cincinnati Monday to work out details for an exhibition game with a big-name opponent . . . "They would have won it with me, and they'll win it without me," Dantley has said of the Pistons . . . Are the Pistons slow to gain a national following because they're defense-oriented? "No, I think it's more because we have a bunch of personalities that people just can't stand," Laimbeer said.