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GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Utah Jazz 19 18 26 21 84
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 26 21 25 30 102
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Lakers beat Jazz 102-84 to snap 4-game skid

By BETH HARRIS


Posted Jan 26 2013 12:56AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Metta World Peace hit five 3-pointers on his way to scoring 17 points and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Utah Jazz 102-84 on Friday night, snapping a four-game skid.

Dwight Howard had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Steve Nash scored 15 and Pau Gasol added 15 points off the bench. Kobe Bryant had 14 points, a season-high 14 assists and nine rebounds to help the Lakers beat the Jazz for the first time in three meetings this season. Utah's four-game winning streak came to an end.

Howard aggravated his right shoulder in the second quarter of the Lakers' loss at Memphis on Wednesday, the same injury that caused him to miss three games two weeks ago. But he showed no ill effects from the start, scoring six points in a 15-4 spurt that opened the game and gave the Lakers the lead for good.

Derrick Favors led the Jazz with 14 points off the bench. Fellow reserve Gordon Hayward scored 13 and Al Jefferson had 12. Paul Millsap and Randy Foye added 10 points each. Utah had won six of its previous seven.

Utah cut its deficit to 78-69 early in the fourth before the Lakers began dominating the final 10 minutes. World Peace hit his fifth 3-pointer and Bryant scored four points during a 14-5 spurt that pushed Los Angeles' lead to 92-74. The Lakers were 9 of 21 from long range.

The Lakers had lost 10 of their last 12 and remain seven games below .500.

The Lakers led by 12 points early in the third before Utah closed to 61-58, capped by Favors' alley-oop dunk off a pass from Earl Watson. The Lakers fought back from 3-point range. Chris Duhon and World Peace combined for three 3-pointers and Jodie Meeks dunked to keep them ahead 72-63 going into the fourth. Gasol and Millsap got into it verbally and received double technicals as the quarter was ending.

Utah closed to 47-37 at halftime.

The Lakers' 15-4 run to start the game was helped by World Peace and Nash combining for three 3-pointers. The Jazz quickly closed within two before the Lakers stretched their lead to 26-19.

NOTES: World Peace was one 3-pointer shy of equaling his career high of six set on Feb. 28, 2009, against Chicago. ... Bryant's assists were three off his career high of 15 set on Feb. 12, 2002, against Washington. ... Utah fell to 9-16 on the road.

Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited



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Points Howard/World Peace, 17
Rebounds Howard, 13
Assists Bryant, 14
Steals Millsap (UTA), 4
Blocks Howard, 2
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POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike D'Antoni:

On the most satisfying part of tonight’s victory:
“A little bit of everything. I thought the energy was great, the sharing of the ball, the rhythm that we had on offense, and the defense was solid all night. You could tell that there was a better feeling out there. We’ve been here before and now it’s up to us to keep it that way. Obviously, tonight is one step in a series of many, but I was just really pleased at how good it feels defensively and offensively.”

On how to keep the momentum going:
“Well, there are no formulas, but I think guys understand a little bit more what we are and what it’s going to take to get to the playoffs and we’ll see. When we hit turbulence somewhere along the road we can’t bail out, we have to keep going through it. It’s not going to be smooth all of the time, but that’s when we have to come together and play through it.”

On the balanced scoring tonight:
“I thought it was led by Kobe [Bryant]. He had 14 assists and I thought he did an unbelievable job distributing. He missed a triple-double by one. There were a lot of good things he did. I thought he set a good tone, good pace to the game, and it was easy for him. I thought [Steve] Nash was the same way.”

On Pau Gasol accepting his new role:
“It’s the first step that everybody accepts what needs to be done that we think. Again, nothing is ever set in stone; it’s always a fluid situation. You try to analyze it the best you can, and you try to put the team in the right spot on the floor. He’s one of the best centers the league and we’re trying to get him more at center as much as we can. I think that helps him also when we go with two bigs. We want to start out faster and spread the floor a little bit better and he allows us to do that. He’s been great.”




Kobe Bryant:

On the game:
“I tried to make a real concerted effort to force the game upon my teammates a little bit and just have them play with confidence. Even the shots that are not going in, just try to push it on them a little bit.”

“I think we ran the defense very well. I got in situations whether it was deep pick and roll or a weak pick and roll to really tried to keep the ball balanced and we did a good job of that.”

“I was trying to look for [Dwight] as much as I can. Try to get him in rhythm and try to manipulate the defense a little bit to get him into position to be successful.”

“[Pau] just came out and played his game. He posted early, which enabled him to get in rhythm.”

On what to work on against the Thunder on Sunday:
“The defense, you know they are a great defensive team. And they have a lot of length and cover a lot of ground, so we have to try to find a way to use that against them.”




Pau Gasol:

On the game:
“We wanted it to [come together] for starters and then things just turned out great tonight. I think the energy was great from the beginning. We sustained that effort throughout the 48 minutes. I think Dwight defensively being active got us going on the defensive end. Metta’s effort also. And then Kobe being able to share the ball like this tonight, he gets everyone involved, he is going to get his looks, and he’s just giving us balance that we need offensively. So it was a great all around effort and I’m really happy about it.”

“I think the energy and the activity should be there on a consistent basis. That’s what we should concentrate on. Let us see if we can do that. Obviously there are going to be nights where the opponent will be a little more aggressive or more difficult…but if we play with this energy, defensively especially, we will be in great shape. And we will give ourselves a chance on a daily basis.”

On being near the basket:
“I would like to do that more. I try to get there as much as I can. It also gets me going and I can make a lot of plays there.”




Earl Clark:

On their collective performance tonight:
“I think it started at the defensive end, we helped each other out there in the…rotations. We fronted today, you know they got a lot of great bigs and we were there on the other side, we got a couple steals. I think overall me and my teammates hit some nice shots, we were open, Metta (World Peace) knocked down a couple 3’s and Steve Nash was really aggressive today which we need him to be and we played a great game.”

On Kobe Bryant getting the team involved:
“Yeah definitely, Kobe (Bryant) demands so much attention and he’s a great passer. When he decides he’s going to get assists and find other players, it gets us in our rhythm, gets us ready to shoot, and today guys were knocking down shots and it was a great win.”




Steve Nash:

On the game:
“I thought Kobe (Bryant) was brilliant. Setting the table for Dwight (Howard) and getting the team going. And Dwight (Howard) was obviously finishing and a big presence defensively. Those are our 2 big guns and when they are symbiotic like that we are a special team I think. I know it’s had to sustain, but tonight we looked like a real good squad.”

“I thought it was a great the way Kobe (Bryant) just was really looking for his teammates. He was looking to get into spots where he could draw a crowd and find his teammates. It shows how talented and capable he is. If we can get that type of balance from our team we could be pretty good. I think getting Dwight (Howard) going early, he showed so much energy and enthusiasm. On the defensive end as well, we’re a different team.”




Dwight Howard:

On the game:
“I think that after the Memphis game we left whatever happened before that, in Memphis. Our effort tonight was there from the beginning and we just have to sustain it for the rest of the season.”

On the balance:
“We have to play together, we have to play for each other and that’s the way we’re going to win.”

On the defense:
“We did a great job. We talked and we were very active. I think the activity is what caused us to get out and get in the open court and get easy shots.”




Tyrone Corbin:

On fading away in the second half:
“We had them in foul trouble early in the third quarter and I thought we missed some opportunities to go to the basket there against them. But you got to give them credit, their backs are up against the wall and they came out and played an aggressive game on the defensive end.”

On the team’s offensive struggles:
“[The Lakers] were the aggressive team. They got their hands on us and they got us out of our offense. They were just more aggressive.”

On what made the Lakers so successful offensively tonight:
“They ended up shooting 57 percent. We shot 42 percent from the field. They were able to get the shots they wanted. They attacked the basket.”

On the team moving forward:
“We just got to throw this one away. It wasn’t one of our better games. We have to understand how we have to play against a team that’s playing physical like they are and be ready to go again tomorrow night. It’s going to be a tough one against Indiana on our own floor, so we got to be ready to go.”




Randy Foye:

On Lakers tempo tonight:
“They play hard. They played harder than us. They shared the ball and hit a lot of three’s. Kobe made plays well. It was more on our part, it was nothing they did. We didn’t play to win like we usually do. We’re usually executing and moving the ball and we didn’t play that way tonight and it hurt us.”

On being in the wrong place tonight:
“It was nothing that they did, it was all about us. We understand what Kobe [Bryant] could do, what Dwight [Howard] and Steve Nash, all of them could do. They have great names over there. We beat them twice already. It’s all about us. If we play together and play the right way I feel that there’s nobody that can beat us in the league. We have a game tomorrow and we have to get ready.”




Gordon Hayward:

On team he expected Lakers to be this season:
“I could tell they were the more desperate team tonight. We just have to be better. We didn’t bring it from the start and we kind of just dug ourselves a hole. We had a run there but it just wasn’t enough.”

“I don’t think I was surprised. I don’t think they were surprised either. They just outhustled us. Their cuts were sharper and there seemed to be a lot of loose balls, a lot of second opportunities. They are too good for that and too talented.”

On Lakers being able to get open:
“They present some problems with the guys that they have. They did a good job of sharing the basketball. When they broke down the defense, they did a good job of swinging it around.”




Al Jefferson:

On what set the tempo tonight:
“He [Kobe] had 14 assists tonight and he’s only had 12 assists in the last 20 games. When he’s moving the ball like that the way that he did tonight, it just gives everybody a chance to get in a great groove. They became a difficult team to stop.”

On what this loss means:
“We only lost one game. This is just one game that we have lost. To me, the one good thing I get out of it is that it humbles us down a little bit. Now we can try to go tomorrow and get back on the right track. It’s only one game and we can’t let it get us all the way down. The Lakers played well tonight. Kobe Bryant was the key today.”

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JAZZ-LAKERS PREVIEW

By JEFF MEZYDLO

Posted Jan 24 2013 4:02PM

With the season spiraling further out of control and their star center injured again, one of the last teams the Los Angeles Lakers likely want to face is the surging Utah Jazz.

The visiting Jazz can record their season-high fifth straight victory with a fifth consecutive win over the Lakers on Friday night.

Despite holding a team meeting prior to Wednesday morning's shootaround, Los Angeles' latest skid reached four games with a 106-93 loss at Memphis. Losers in 10 of 12, the star-studded Lakers (17-25) are 12th in the Western Conference and facing the possibility of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2004-05.

"I do think they play as hard as they can play, and that's what's scary," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I mean I don't know how we can play harder or blame something else."

A frustrated Kobe Bryant scored 29 while Los Angeles shot 42.5 percent and trailed by as many 21.

"It's just disappointing to lose, period," said Bryant, who is among the NBA scoring leaders at 29.2 points per game. "We just have to go back to work and work a little harder."

While Bryant continues to do his part, Pau Gasol remains unhappy coming off the bench. However, he could start if Howard is unable to play after aggravating his sore shoulder before halftime.

"He just reinjured the shoulder a little bit, and right now he is out obviously," D'Antoni said after the Lakers were outrebounded 52-34 and outscored 60-34 in the paint. "But I don't know what that means day-to-day."

Howard had two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes after totaling 13 and 11 boards in the previous two games. That included Sunday's 108-103 loss at Toronto, where he was ejected late in the first half after receiving his second technical foul.

Regardless of who is on the floor, Los Angeles must play better defensively after allowing a Memphis team that failed to score more than 85 points in six straight contests to shoot 49.0 percent.

The Lakers are surrendering 101.5 points per game, their worst mark in six years.

"We make these teams look a lot better offensively than they really are," Gasol said. "That's something that's pretty negative. Pretty alarming."

Utah (23-19) shot 54.2 percent during a 117-110 win at Los Angeles on Dec. 9 to improve to 2-0 against the Lakers this season. The Jazz have averaged 102.8 points during a four-game winning streak versus Los Angeles - their longest in the series since sweeping the Lakers in the 1998 conference finals and then winning the first meeting the next season. P

aul Millsap, who has scored 24 each in the last two road games against the Lakers, had 16 with 15 rebounds to help Utah hold on for a 92-88 home win over Washington on Wednesday. Though the Wizards scored 21 points off 14 turnovers and cut a 22-point deficit to two, the Jazz prevailed for the eighth time in 10 games.

"It's a concern when we lose big leads, but we're winning the game so we're not going to go crazy about it," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "You'd like to learn a lesson not to relax when we're up. Turnovers and fast scores for the opponents is what's really concerning."

Bryant has totaled 63 points despite shooting 39.0 percent (16 of 41) versus Utah this season.


Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Probable Starters .
  Lakers    
  #15 World Peace SF #2 Williams  
  #6 ClarkPF #24 Millsap  
  #12 Howard C #25 Jefferson  
  #24 Bryant SG #8 Foye  
  #10 Nash PG #6 Tinsley  


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Lakers Steve Blake
(abdominal surgery) is out.
Jordan Hill
(torn labrum, left hip/herniated disc) is out.
Dwight Howard
(torn labrum, right shoulder) is probable.
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Mavericks Mo Williams
(right thumb surgery) is out.
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11/07 - LAL 86 @ UTA 95
12/09 - UTA 117 @ LAL 110
01/25 - UTA @ LAL
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