Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/4

Game 1: Wednesday, December 4th
Game 2: Sunday, December 8th
Game 3: Saturday, February 1st
Game 4: Wednesday, February 19th

Lakers 85

(7-13, 2-9 away)

Jazz 93


    Coverage: KJZZ

    7:00 PM ET, December 4, 2002

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 20 20 13 3285
    UTAH 22 22 18 3193

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: S. O'Neal 23 Pts, 15 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    Utah: K. Malone 29 Pts, 15 Reb, 4 Ast

    Lakers unable to slow down Stockton, Malone

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Despite their advancing ages, Karl Malone and John Stockton can still carry the Utah Jazz to a convincing win.



    Utah's elders led the Jazz to their eighth win in nine games Wednesday night, a 93-85 victory over the struggling Los Angeles Lakers.

    Malone finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds, while Stockton had 10 points and 11 assists -- his second-straight double-double.

    "Those two 40-year-olds ran us into the ground,'' said Kobe Bryant, who had 17 points for the Lakers.

    Actually, Stockton is the only 40-year-old. Malone turned 39 in July, but Bryant's point was clear: The Lakers haven't been able slow teams down, with or without Shaquille O'Neal.

    O'Neal led Los Angeles with 23 points and 15 rebounds, but couldn't get the Lakers past a 13-point deficit in the second half.

    "The whole team isn't playing with enough energy and fight. Sure, some changes need to be made for what's best for the team,'' said O'Neal, who added he'd like the ball more.

    Two nights before, it was Stockton who led the Jazz to a win over Indiana with 22 points and 10 assists.

    "It was great because a couple of nights ago it was Stockton who got us going. Tonight it was Karl,'' said Matt Harpring, who had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz.

    The Lakers lost for the fourth time in six games. Los Angeles is 4-4 since the return of O'Neal following offseason toe surgery. The Jazz held the Lakers to 36 percent shooting (30-for-84).

    "Everybody always looks at our offense, but we have a defensive scheme,'' Malone said. "You can't shut out those two (Bryant and O'Neal), but you can contain them.''

    Tracy Murray scored 11 and Derek Fisher had 10 for the Lakers, who were called for 30 fouls to Utah's 20.

    "It was a difficult game. They were reversing calls right and left in the first half,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

    Andrei Kirilenko scored 11 for the Jazz and Greg Ostertag, who was up against O'Neal most of the night, finished with 10.

    "Greg had a lot of pride,'' Malone said. "He's been trying lately to do everything everybody has been asking of him.''

    The Jazz pulled away in the third quarter after Malone and the Lakers' Stanislav Medvedenko drew a double technical foul when they got tangled up outside the lane. They stood face-to-face for a few moments before Malone started laughing and patted the side of Medvedenko's face before walking away.

    "It was funny to us. That's why we were laughing,'' Malone said.

    It also seemed to fire up the 39-year-old Mailman, who made his next two shots as part of an 8-2 run that put the Jazz up 57-44. The Lakers responded with a 6-0 run, then in the fourth got within four points twice.

    After O'Neal put back a rebound to cut Utah's lead to 75-71, Harpring and Kirilenko each hit short jumpers to open a 10-3 run, which Malone capped with a 3-pointer with 2:59 left.

    The crowd of 19,657, the Delta Center's largest of the season, was roaring and the Lakers had to call a timeout.

    The chant of "Beat L.A.'' echoed with about 2 minutes left and the Jazz on the verge of the win.

    Game notes

    Ostertag came down on the opening tipoff and twisted his ankle. He hobbled down to the left side of the lane and gave the Jazz a 2-0 lead with a turnaround jumper over O'Neal. ... Laker Rick Fox was trying to check back into the game with 5:09 left in the second quarter, but couldn't get the substitute horn to sound. He kept saying "sub'' and finally imitated the horn a couple of times before it sounded.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 85 93
    FGM-FGA 30-84 (.357) 31-62 (.500)
    3PM-3PA 9-21 (.429) 2-5 (.400)
    FTM-FTA 16-20 (.800) 29-39 (.744)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-39 10-46
    Assists 16 25
    Turnovers 16 18
    Steals 8 6
    Blocks 3 4
    Fast Break Points 3 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (1/0) 20 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Shaquille O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 23
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Karl Malone Malone
    Points: 29
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0