L.A. Lakers 97, Denver 71
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14 (Ticker) -- Slava Medvedenko
and the shorthanded
Los Angeles Lakers used a balanced attack to get coach Phil
Jackson his 800th career win.
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Medvedenko scored 22 points and Gary Payton
added 21, leading
the Lakers to their third straight victory, a 97-71 romp over
the Denver Nuggets.
"We prepared and everybody played good and hard," Medvedenko
Ten of the 11 Lakers who saw action scored as Jackson became the
fastest coach to reach 800 wins. He reached the milestone in
his 1,101st game, 38 quicker than former Los Angeles coach Pat
"I didn't know if it would ever happen," Jackson said about his
accomplishment. "It seems like these last two weeks have been
very slow. I'm happy and proud I could be with the Lakers to do
The Lakers were playing their first game without superstar Kobe Bryant
, who suffered a sprained right shoulder in Monday's
triumph over Cleveland and was placed on the injured list
It is the latest in a long line of injuries for the Lakers, who
already were without forward Karl Malone
and superstar center
"Tonight we just played and showed that we can play without our
top guys," Payton said. "What we did was just gut it down and
everybody played together. We just have to keep it up."
Malone is on the injured list for the first time in his career
with a sprained knee. O'Neal was medically cleared to play but
did not suit up and missed his sixth straight game due to a calf
and Andre Miller
led Denver with 15 points apiece.
Rookie Carmelo Anthony
finished with 14 but made just 4-of-17
shots as the Nuggets completed a 1-2 road trip.
"From start to finish, we just played bad," Miller said. "No
energy, no hustle. We should have been motivated for this game.
They came out prepared and were ready to play."
Los Angeles led 26-16 after the first quarter and started the
second period with a 22-10 run to build a 48-26 advantage with
4:29 remaining before halftime.
The Lakers shot 51 percent (35-of-69) while limiting the Nuggets
to 36 percent (28-of-78) while holding a 40-28 advantage on the
glass. Medvedenko made 9-of-12 shots and Payton 9-of-13.
"They came out and kicked our butts and that's that," Nuggets
center Marcus Camby
said. "Everybody's played well over there,
we weren't able to stop anybody over there."
"When you play well together and pass the ball like the way we
did it is really easy for us," Payton said.