Tuesday , Mar , 09 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – March 9

=== Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – March 9 ===

(Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers found themselves on the wrong end
of an 88-83 decision against the Utah jazz on Monday at the Delta Center.

Gary Payton registered 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the
Lakers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Shaquille O’Neal chipped
in with 16 points and 10 rebounds before being ejected late in the fourth

Los Angeles forward Karl Malone, currently on the injured list, returned to
Utah for the first time since leaving the Jazz, but was forced to remain on
the bench due to a knee injury. He signed as a free agent with the Lakers this
past summer.

O’Neal’s dunk, with just under four minutes to go, staked Los Angeles to a
72-68 edge. But the center was called for a technical foul and was ejected
when his elbow came down on a Utah player.

The Jazz then took advantage of the loss. Gordan Giricek’s jumper put the team
ahead for good with 2:48 to play. On their next possession, Kirilenko hit a
fadeaway jumper with the shot clock winding down.

Two foul shots by Giricek with 58 second to go capped the flurry and put Utah
ahead 79-72.

The Lakers got no closer than three points the rest of the way.

The loss also dropped the Lakers’ a full game back of the idle San Antonio
Spurs for third place in the Western Conference playoff race. LA is also 5 1/2
games back of the conference-leading Sacramento Kings in the Pacific Division.

Los Angeles fell for just the second time in its last eight on the road and
slipped to 17-17 away from home this season.

The Lakers will resume their four-game road trip on Wednesday in Boston.