Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – January 29
=== Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – January 29 ===
(Sports Network) – Shaquille O’Neal returned to the lineup for the Lakers
and he helped them to a 96-82 win over the Seattle SuperSonics at the Staples
O’Neal, who had been sidelined 12 games with a strained right calf, played
just 18 minutes and scored seven points with five rebounds. He saw about nine
minutes in each half. The Lakers struggled in O’Neal’s absence, going just
Rick Fox, making his season debut after off-season foot surgery, scored two
points in eight minutes.
Former Sonic Gary Payton tied a season-high with 24 points in the winning
Derek Fisher had 11 points and stepped up his defense with a career-high tying
six steals, as the Lakers won their second straight on the heels of a three-
game slide. Kobe Bryant added 14 points in the win.
The Lakers were once again without Karl Malone, who is now expected to be
sidelined until mid-to-late March due to his knee injury. Malone’s knee was
originally supposed to be healed by now.
Los Angeles has a day to rest before battling Minnesota Friday night. The
Lakers begin a season-long seven game road trip Sunday in Toronto.