Lakers Squeak Past Jazz in Overtime
L.A. Lakers 105, Utah 101 (OT)
SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 1 (Ticker) -- Having fouled out in overtime, Kobe Bryant watched as Sasha Vujacic helped save the day for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant scored 30 points and Vujacic hit a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in the extra session to lead the Lakers to a 105-101 victory over the Utah Jazz.
"As soon as he went up, I just put my hands straight up and he kind of gave an, 'Oh', and I couldn't believe that ref made that call," Brown said. "It's tough to play the whole game and fight back like we did, and then it comes down to one call."
"He fouled the (heck) out of me," Bryant said. "He kicked my legs out from underneath me. Usually, when it's a questionable call, you never call it with the game on the line. But that was pretty blatant."
In overtime, Bryant sank back-to-back jumpers to give the Lakers a 97-95 with 2:21 remaining before committing his sixth foul against rookie Deron Williams, who made 1-of-2 from the line. Matt Harpring followed with a 3-pointer to put the Jazz in front, 99-97, with 1:52 to go.
Lamar Odom hit a foul shot and Vujacic sank two free throws for the Lakers before Williams made a running jumper with 1:10 left to give Utah a 101-100 lead.
Vujacic, who scored 10 points in Tuesday's loss to San Antonio, buried a 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go and Laron Profit made two free throws with six seconds left.
"(Sasha) is a good shooter, the best shooter on our team," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "When Sasha took that shot, he took his time and put it together."
"We wanted this game more than Utah did," Vujacic said. "The most important thing for me is, Phil Jackson has shown great confidence in me. I'm so glad that coach Jackson trusts me to take that shot."
Utah's last chance fell short, as Williams missed a shot from the arc and Andrei Kirilenko's was unsuccessful on a follow shot as time expired.
The Jazz came back from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter as Brown scored seven consecutive points and rookie Andre Owens added nine in an 18-6 run that cut the deficit to 79-77 with six minutes left.
Utah took its first lead of the game with 23 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, when Harpring hit a pair of free throws for a 91-90 edge. However, he missed 1-of-2 with four seconds to go, giving Bryant the opportunity to send the game into overtime.
"We're not getting the breaks, but we were down and we can't wait until the fourth quarter and overtime to start playing the game," Harpring said. "We kind of waited tonight, a little too late."
Bryant, who is averaging 33 shots in his last seven games, made 11-of-31 in this one. Smush Parker scored 21 points and Odom added 12 with 13 rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers, who ended a four-game road losing streak.
"I've been in a number of games in Salt Lake and I know that this can be a place where games like this can happen," Jackson said. "We had a short lead and I told them, 'We had to build a bigger lead because things will get wacky and you'll have to have everything you've got to win this ballgame.'"
Williams scored 20 points, Harpring added 16 and Brown 13 for the Jazz, who have lost three straight games.