Saturday , Jan , 17 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – January 17

=== Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – January 17 ===

(Sports Network) – The basketball rivals in Los Angeles hook up tonight, as
the injury-plagued Lakers act as the host tonight against the Clippers at the
Staples Center.

Earlier this season, the Clippers, who were the host, defeated the Lakers,
101-98, on January 4, 2004. With the win, the Clippers snapped a five-game
series losing streak.

On Friday, the short-handed Lakers were crushed by the Sacramento Kings,
103-83, at ARCO Arena.

Once again the Lakers were forced to play without three-fifths of its starting
lineup. Center Shaquille O’Neal, forward Karl Malone and guard Kobe Bryant all
remained sidelined with injuries, as the Lakers dropped their seventh straight
on the road. Los Angeles also had its three-game winning streak overall come
to an end.

O’Neal is expected to miss tonight’s game, but could return to the Lakers’
lineup on Monday against the Phoenix Suns. Malone and Bryant are currently on
the injured list.

Kareem Rush was forced to pick up the scoring slack on Friday and finished
with a career-high 30 points in the losing effort. Gary Payton chipped in 16
points for the Lakers.

The Lakers have won seven of the last nine contests against the Clippers.