Monday , Mar , 29 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – March 29

=== Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – March 29 ===

(Sports Network) – The Lakers tallied a 91-84 win over the Utah Jazz at the
Staples Center Sunday.

Karl Malone burned his former team, posting 19 points and 13 rebounds in the
victory. Malone faced his former team for the first time after spending the
first 18 years of his illustrious career in Utah. The Lakers are 27-6 this
season when Malone is in the lineup.

The 40-year-old Malone, who signed as a free agent in Los Angeles this past
summer, missed the Lakers’ first three games against Utah this season. He sat
out the first meeting because of a suspension and missed the next two contests
because of a right knee injury that caused him to be sidelined for 41 games
this year.

Kobe Bryant poured in 34 points to pace the Lakers in the victory. Gary Payton
chipped in 17 points and Shaquille O’Neal contributed 11 points and 14 boards
for the Lakers, who have won eight straight games.

Payton picked up his 8,000th career assist midway through the third quarter.
He is sixth on the all-time list.

Bryant was 17-of-21 from the foul line and Los Angeles was 34-of-49 as a team
(69 percent).

Thanks to their recent success, the Lakers have climbed into third in the West
— only two games back of conference and Pacific leader Sacramento. Los
Angeles has won 20 of its last 25 contests overall.

The Lakers will try to draw closer to Sacramento Tuesday night, when they host
the New Orleans Hornets. Six of the Lakers’ final nine games are at the
Staples Center.