Lakers' Worthy is doubtful for Game 5 Left ankle sprain giving him trouble


INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers forward James Worthy, who has played on five championship teams, was listed as doubtful for Game 5 of the NBA Finals Wednesday night, when the Chicago Bulls will try to clinch their first title.

Worthy, who sprained his left ankle in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, has not recovered fully and has been particularly ineffective rebounding.

Last night, after scoring 12 points and grabbing three rebounds, he limped off the floor at the start of the fourth quarter and did not return.

"In the second half, I couldn't do anything," Worthy said. "I was doing more damage than helping the team."

Asked if he felt he could recover during the two-day break in the series, he said, "I'm not sure, but I believe in our trainer's [Gary Vitti] miracle treatment."

* Lakers guard Byron Scott, who has 13 points in the first five games, now has more than a bruised ego. Scott jammed his right shoulder in the fourth quarter and is also questionable for Wednesday's game.

"There was a wet spot on the floor," he said. "I slipped and [Bulls center] Bill Cartwright came down on me. It's extremely sore now, a very bad bruise."

If Scott can't play, Lakers coach Mike Dunleavy, seeking more offense, might promote swingman Terry Teagle to a starting role. But Teagle also has struggled, scoring only 16 points as a key reserve. Worthy's spot likely would be filled by veteran A.C. Green.

X-rays of Scott's shoulders were negative.

* Two former Baltimore Bullets guards, Kevin Loughery and Fred Carter, are in the running for NBA head coaching jobs.

Loughery, who has been head coach in New Jersey, Washington and Atlanta, is bidding for the vacancy in Miami after the Heat fired Ron Rothstein. Loughery's close friend, Heat managing partner Billy Cunningham, is making the hire. If Loughery doesn't get it, Heat assistant Dave Wohl likely will be promoted.

Carter, who has been an assistant in Atlanta and now in Philadelphia, was interviewed last week by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who fired Bill Musselman. But Carter's talk with Timberwolves president Bob Stein reportedly lasted only a half-hour.

The Timberwolves spent considerably more time Friday talking with Golden State Warriors assistant Garry St. Jean, now viewed as the favorite candidate.

* Markdown: It appears the Washington Bullets still are interested in acquiring point guard Mark Jackson from the New York Knicks.

Jackson, who had an outstanding rookie season, fell out of favor in New York two years ago after coach Rick Pitino left for the University of Kentucky. Pitino's successors, Stu Jackson and John MacLeod, favored a half-court game, and Mark Jackson lost his starting job to veteran Maurice Cheeks. New Knicks coach Pat Riley has not indicated where Jackson fits in his plans.

* Shrinking giant: The Bullets may be growing more interested in drafting Stanley Roberts, a 7-foot-1 center, after seeing him step on the scales during the NBA physicals for rookies in Chicago last week.

Roberts, who played for Real Madrid in Spain last season after leaving LSU as a sophomore, weighed 285. That is some 30 pounds fewer than a year ago, when NBA scouts questioned his work habits.

* Trade rumors: Golden State, with three first-round picks (Nos. 16, 17, 25), is considering swapping all of them to Miami for the No. 5 choice. The Warriors, who featured the smallest starting lineup in the league, are seeking a big man. Dikembe Mutombo, Georgetown's 7-2 shot blocker, may be available at that spot.

The Detroit Pistons, swept by the Bulls in the Eastern finals, are prepared to rebuild after dominating the conference in recent years.

"Every year, I've changed three or four guys, and I'll probably do the same this year," Pistons general manager Jack McCloskey said.

* Some stat-ic: The Lakers' 82 points were their playoff low this year, and their fewest points since managing 80 against Utah in the 1988 Western semifinals. . . . The Lakers have lost four straight championship series games at The Forum, tying a record set twice by the Baltimore/Washington Bullets in 1971 and 1975.

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