Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 1/4

Game 1: Sunday, January 4th
Game 2: Saturday, January 17th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 17th
Game 4: Friday, March 19th

Clippers 89

(16-21, 4-11 away)

Lakers 91

(25-12, 19-2 home)

    Coverage: FSPI

    7:30 PM ET, January 17, 2004

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 30 14 16 2989
    LAL 17 26 23 2591

    Top Performers

    LAC: E. Brand 35 Pts, 20 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

    LAL: G. Payton 15 Pts, 6 Reb, 15 Ast, 2 Blk

    Lakers win four of last five

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The supporting cast got high marks from Shaquille O'Neal.

    Playing again without the injured O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone, the Lakers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 91-89 Saturday night for their fourth win in five games.

    "They're playing good. They're all getting a lot of touches, the ball's been moving good and Gary (Payton) has been doing good," O'Neal said.

    Payton, the only one of the Lakers' four superstars able to play, had 15 points and 15 assists, and Stanislav Medvedenko added 20 points and 10 rebounds.

    "Even though he couldn't find a way to make shots, Gary still found a way to score, to get some assists and help other people score," coach Phil Jackson said of Payton, who was 7-of-19 from the floor.

    Elton Brand had 35 points and 20 rebounds for the Clippers, who took it down to the wire but lost when Keyon Dooling's desperation 3-point try bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

    After trailing most of the first half, the Lakers went up 66-60 on Fisher's 3-pointer with three seconds left in the third quarter. The Clippers shot only 7-of-29 in the third period, while the Lakers went 10-of-16.

    "We're going to have to go through a lot of trials and tribulations this year, but it's only going to make us an excellent and closer team," said O'Neal, who has missed 10 games with a strained right calf. "Any villain can beat super heroes when Superman is not around.

    "But Superman will be back. I'll be back."

    Devean George and Derek Fisher added 11 points each for the Lakers, who took the lead for good late in the third quarter.

    The Clippers stayed close and narrowed a seven-point deficit to two in the final 1:38.

    Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy didn't seem upset over the loss.

    "I love how hard our guys play. We don't ever give up. Just when you think they should be knocked out of the box, they come back, and that's a really good sign," Dunleavy said.

    O'Neal and Bryant will miss at least another week, and Malone is expected to be out at least two more weeks.

    Bryant is on the injured list with a strained right shoulder and has missed four games. Malone, on the injured list for the first time in his NBA career, has missed 13 games because of a sprained ligament in his right knee.

    The Lakers also are without backup center Horace Grant, who left the team to be with his ailing father in Georgia.

    The Clippers beat the Lakers 101-98 on Jan. 4, when the Lakers were without O'Neal and Malone.

    The Lakers were the home team for the rematch and are 19-2 this season at Staples Center, which the two teams share. The Clippers have a 12-10 home record.

    Game notes

    Jackson doesn't believe Bryant will have any lingering effects from the shoulder injury. "He has full range of motion, but just a little soreness when he moves it certain ways," Jackson said. ... Clippers G Quentin Richardson will be out at least through Monday's game against Sacramento because of a sprained right hand. ... Clippers G-F Bobby Simmons had an MRI on his sprained hip and is out indefinitely. Simmons was hurt in Friday night's loss to Miami. "The injury to Bobby is a big blow to us because of his ability to play three positions, so it's like losing three players," Dunleavy said, adding that he expects Simmons to be sidelined two to three weeks.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 89 91
    FGM-FGA 32-85 (.376) 37-84 (.440)
    3PM-3PA 3-16 (.188) 5-10 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 22-30 (.733) 12-21 (.571)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-50 13-43
    Assists 19 26
    Turnovers 15 11
    Steals 7 6
    Blocks 4 5
    Fast Break Points 4 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 26 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Los Angeles
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 35
    Reb: 20
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Gary Payton Payton
    Points: 15
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 15
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2