Thursday , Jan , 15 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – January 15

=== Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – January 15 ===

(Sports Network) – Slava Medvedenko contributed a game-high 22 points with
nine rebounds to lead the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers to a 97-71 win over
the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday at the Staples Center.

Gary Payton scored 21 points and dished out six assists and Devean George
chipped in 12 points for the Lakers, who won their third straight after a four
game losing streak.

The Lakers were playing without All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who was placed on
the injured list with a sprained right shoulder suffered in Monday’s contest
against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That, combined with the absence of still-sidelined center Shaquille O’Neal and
forward Karl Malone, meant that the Lakers went into the contest without
three-fifths of their usual starting lineup. Those three players account for
56 points, 26 rebounds and 11.1 assists per game.

With the win, Lakers coach Phil Jackson surpassed Pat Riley as the fastest
coach in NBA history to record 800 wins. While it took Riley 1,139 games, it
took Jackson just 1,101.

Payton is averaging 17 points and five assists in the last two games, while
Medvedenko has scored in double digits in eight of the last 10 games.

The Lakers are off until Friday when they visit Mike Bibby and the Sacramento