LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The real Los Angeles Lakers returned to form, and the upset-minded Sacramento Kings never stood a chance.
Looking every bit like championship material after a two-game fling with self-doubt and mediocrity, the Lakers got a dominant game from Shaquille O'Neal and turned it into a laugher early in the third quarter Friday night. They steamrolled the Kings 113-86 in the deciding game of the best-of-five first-round series.
''We knew if we didn't bring our 'A' game we were going to make history tonight,'' O'Neal said. ''And we didn't want to make history.''
With their fans in a mini-panic and the rest of the contending teams salivating over the prospect of a road to the finals that wouldn't go through Los Angeles, the Lakers quickly brought everybody back to reality.
O'Neal outrebounded the entire Sacramento team in the first half and finished with 32 points and 18 rebounds, while the rest of the team contributed steady offensive production and superb defense. Shortly after halftime, it was abundantly clear that the Lakers would pass their first tough test of character with ease.
So lopsided was it that O'Neal and Kobe Bryant sat out almost the entire fourth quarter, giving the team's two best players some unexpected extra rest to carry into their second-round series against the Phoenix Suns beginning Sunday.
''I don't care when it had to happen, but I've been talking all year about how we needed a trial by fire,'' coach Phil Jackson said. ''Certainly a team has to have that at some point to develop the mettle and grit and to be able to sustain the poise, direction and intensity.
''They gave us a lot of push, and we needed that as a basketball team if we're going to advance,'' Jackson said.
Bryant finished with 17 points, Glen Rice had 14 and the other members of the team -- A.C. Green, Robert Horry, Derek Fisher -- who had been playing poorly or not at all in Games 3 and 4 provided plenty of support. Green finished with 10, and Horry and Fisher had eight apiece.
The Kings, meanwhile, who shocked everyone but themselves by tying the series with a pair of home victories, were borderline pathetic.
Getting little from anyone other than Chris Webber, who seemed to be trying to carry his team by himself, the Kings were outrebounded 14-12 by O'Neal in the first half and 54-35 overall.
Webber finished with 20, but the rest of Sacramento's starters shot a combined 7-for-22. Vlade Divac scored just four, Nick Anderson had three and Corliss Williamson eight -- six of which came late in garbage time.
''There are no excuses for how we played tonight,'' Webber said. ''It's just a sick feeling in my stomach right now. It's hard to decipher what happened.''
The Kings fell behind by 35 less than two minutes into the fourth quarter after consecutive dunks by Horry and O'Neal. They never really gave themselves a chance to pull off what would have been one of the biggest upsets in league history by becoming just the third eighth-seeded team to knock off a No. 1 seed.
Right from the outset the Lakers played with the kind of calmness that Jackson had counseled, and it took less than 10 minutes for them to open a double-digit lead.
O'Neal made his first five shots, Bryant made two of his first three and it was 25-14 before Sacramento coach Rick Adelman went to his bench. But unlike in Games 3 and 4 when the Kings' reserves dominated their Lakers counterparts, this time it was Los Angeles that got a boost from its backups.
Fisher, who didn't even get off the bench in Game 4, went 4-for-4 from the field, and Horry was 3-for-4 before the half. And although the Kings got the deficit down to 10 on a steal by Webber leading to a fast-break 3-pointer by Predrag Stojakovic, the Lakers didn't let Sacramento turn it into a sustained run.
Bryant blocked Divac's 3-point attempt just before the buzzer, and the Lakers went to the locker room with a 59-44 lead behind 20 points and 14 rebounds from O'Neal.
The Lakers came out hot in the third quarter and Divac quickly picked up a technical foul -- Sacramento's fourth -- when a call went against him less than two minutes in. You could almost see the Kings quit right then and there, and it only got worse for them the rest of the way.
O'Neal was 0-for-4 from the foul line when he went there midway through the third with the crowd chanting ''M-V-P, M-V-P'' and calmly sank both for an 80-57 lead with 3:32 left.
Jackson emptied his bench with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth, and the early exiting locals started streaming toward the parking lots with more than six minutes left.
''We knew it was going to be tough for anybody to beat us three games in a row, especially on our home court.'' Bryant said. ''This is what we played all year for.''
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