Lakers Gameday | 05/11/08 | Lakers 115, Jazz 123 (Series tied 2-2)
Jazz pull out OT win over Lakers, send series to L.A. tied 2-2
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Andrei Kirilenko blocked Kobe Bryant twice in overtime and converted a three-point play with 35 seconds remaining as the Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Lakers 123-115 on Sunday, tying the Western Conference semifinals at 2-2.
The Jazz went 9-for-9 from the foul line in overtime and outscored the Lakers 15-7 in the extra 5 minutes.
Deron Williams had 29 points and 14 assists, while Carlos Boozer scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and grabbed 12 rebounds. Mehmet Okur added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Kirilenko finished with 15 points and five blocks -- stuffing Bryant twice as the Lakers tried to rally in overtime.
Bryant finished with 33 points and 10 assists.
Game 5 is Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Utah was 40-for-76 (53 percent) and had a huge advantage at the foul line, making 37 of 45 free throws. The Lakers got only 25 attempts from the line and missed 11 of them. The Jazz reserves also dominated the Lakers', outscoring them 39-16.
Los Angeles rallied from a 12-point deficit in the final four minutes to force overtime. Derek Fisher scored 10 straight for the Lakers and blocked a shot by Williams just before the end of regulation with the score tied at 108.
The Lakers struggled in overtime and didn't score until a layup by Bryant with 1:10 remaining cut Utah's lead to 112-110. Los Angeles almost forced the Jazz into a shot clock violation before Kyle Korver got off a shot from the corner just in time. The ball bounced off the rim right to Okur, who passed it back outside to Williams, and Utah was able to burn some time before Williams slipped a pass to Kirilenko, who dunked it while getting fouled by Lamar Odom.
Kirilenko made the free throw to put Utah up by five and the Jazz hit the rest of their free throws to clinch it.
Odom had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and Pau Gasol scored 23 and pulled down 10 boards. Fisher finished with 15 points, but no assists and got in early foul trouble.
Utah backup guard Ronnie Price also had a big game, despite finishing with four points and two assists. Price had to get four stitches for a cut over his right eye after he was flagrantly fouled early in the second quarter by Ronny Turiaf, who was ejected.
Turiaf came down hard with his left arm and Price went straight down and his head bounced on the court. Price leaped right up as his teammates swarmed the officials and pushed for the flagrant call. He got stitches in the locker room and came back in the second half with one of the plays of the game.
Luke Walton had a clear path for a layup or dunk after a missed 3-pointer by Price, who caught him from behind and blocked the shot midway through the fourth to keep Utah's lead at 92-84.
After opening the playoffs with six straight wins, the Lakers aren't about to get discouraged by one loss.
Los Angeles still leads Utah 2-1 in the Western Conference semifinals and can take a commanding lead home with a victory Sunday afternoon in Game 4.
Utah's 104-99 win in Game 3 on Friday night was the Lakers' first loss since April 8 against Portland. Los Angeles won its remaining four games to claim the top seed in the Western Conference, then stormed through the first round with a sweep of Denver and took a quick 2-0 lead on Utah.
The streak ended when the Jazz came up with their best game of the series and the Lakers had their worst of the playoffs, turning the ball over 18 times and allowing Utah to resurrect its struggling offense.
"It's almost like we didn't expect the Jazz to come out with their best effort," Lakers guard Derek Fisher said before practice Saturday. "We still had a chance, but we didn't deserve to win the game with some of the things we did and some of the mistakes we made."
Fisher played for the Jazz last year when they fell behind Houston 2-0, then came back with two wins at home and ended up taking the series in seven games.
If the Lakers falter again Sunday, Utah will be returning to Los Angeles with new confidence and a chance to win the series by narrowing it to a best-of-three.
"Now we know that we can beat this team," said Carlos Boozer, who led the Jazz with 27 points and 20 rebounds Friday night. "We know what the formula is for winning and we have to duplicate that tomorrow."
The Jazz will be hosting a Sunday afternoon game for the first time since 2001. It's their first Sunday playoff game since 2000.
EnergySolutions Arena is just blocks away from the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the state's predominant religion. Sundays are generally off-limits to anything but church and family activities.
Team owner Larry Miller is even putting his Mormon faith ahead of his team and will continue his practice of not attending Sunday games.
But there are still plenty of non-Mormons in the state, as well as some members of the church who will be spending Sunday afternoon at the arena instead of their local church. The available tickets for Sunday's game sold out in less than 15 minutes.
Utah is 40-5 at home this season. Game 5 is Wednesday in Los Angeles and the Jazz don't want to be down 3-1 and in an elimination game on the road.
"It's a huge difference. We'd prefer the 2-2 route," forward Kyle Korver said.
Jazz point guard Deron Williams said he was still sore from landing hard on his right hand in Friday's game, but X-rays showed no break in his hand or wrist. He banged the palm of his hand when he fell on a drive late in the second quarter, but continued to play and had 18 points and 12 assists.
A sore hand will not keep him from playing Sunday. Williams and his teammates will still be riding high from Friday, when they shot 50 percent, outrebounded the Lakers and controlled the lane.
Kobe Bryant still scored 34 for the Lakers, but none of his teammates managed more than 13 points. The Jazz also limited 7-foot center Pau Gasol to 12 points and six rebounds and forced him into five turnovers.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson was critical of Gasol on Saturday, saying he didn't adjust to Utah's physical play under the basket, especially when the Jazz double-teamed him.
"That's not about getting more space. It's about him understanding what's happening, picking the ball up and hitting the open guy," Jackson said. "They're leaving guys wide open. He's just got to pick the basketball up and put it in people's hands so they can score."
Bryant said the Lakers simply made too many mistakes to win a road game in the playoffs.
"We can minimize that and we can control that -- being stronger with the basketball and making smarter decisions," Bryant said. "What we can do is get hands in their faces, take care of the basketball and play hard on the defensive end."
Forward Lamar Odom said he watched the replay twice before going to sleep early Saturday and saw how many mistakes the Lakers made.
"Adjustments will be made. I probably won't share them with you because then I'd be sharing with it with them," he said.
The Lakers were relaxed before practice on Saturday. Despite not playing particularly well Friday, they were still within four points in the final minute and a shot or two from a different outcome.
Los Angeles also rarely blows leads in playoff series. The Lakers are 35-1 after winning the first two games of a best-of-seven series. And the seven times they have opened the playoffs with six straight wins, made it to seven NBA finals and won the championship six times.
If the Lakers play more like they did in the first two games than they did Friday, they could have a chance to keep up the history.
"Last night we had way too much slippage for a team that expected to win a Game 3 in the playoffs," Fisher said.Copyright 2007 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
(Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/Getty Images)
NOTES & CONNECTIONS
The Lakers won their season series with Utah (3-1) for the second consecutive season, having taken last season’s series with the Jazz (2-1) as well. The Jazz and Lakers have now met 143 times in the regular season (91-52), 125 times since the Jazz moved to Utah (78-47). The Lakers have gone 6-4 in their last 10 overall games with the Jazz. The Lakers are 14-3 all-time against the Jazz at STAPLES Center (12-2 in their last 14 home games). In Utah, the Lakers are 3-3 in their last six road games and have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games at EnergySolutions Arena overall. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 21-10 against Utah. Last season, the Lakers scored a series record 132 points in a 132-102 victory over the Jazz 11/30/06 in their lone game at STAPLES Center, improving upon the old mark of 131 points achieved at Utah on December 4, 1986. Additionally in that game, Kobe Bryant established a new series-high with 52 points against the Jazz, surpassing his own record of 43 points (3/22/05) while also bettering Adrian Dantley’s Jazz mark of 50 established in November of 1979. Bryant’s 30-point third quarter tied his own franchise record and is tied for the fourth-highest scoring quarter in NBA history. In 40 games against the Jazz (32 starts), Bryant is averaging 26.0 points. In their meeting on 12/28/07 Bryant scored his 1,000th career point against the Jazz and is averaging 33.3 points against Utah over the last two seasons and 29.8 points this season against the Jazz. Additionally, Lakers guard Derek Fisher played last season for Utah, appearing in all 82 games, starting 61 and averaging 10.1 points and 3.3 assists in 27.9 minutes.
LAKERS vs. UTAH IN THE POSTSEASON
JACKSON-LED TEAMS A TOUGH OUT AFTER WINNING GAME 1
CLOSING IT OUT
Overall, under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are now 17-10 in close-out games. The Lakers have won 22 of their last 23 series when holding the opportunity to close-out at any point. Their last series loss when having a close-out game came in 2006 when the Lakers squandered a 3-1 series lead against the Phoenix Suns. Prior to that, the Lakers had not lost a series when having a close-out game since their 1993 First Round meeting with Phoenix in which they led 2-0 before ultimately losing the next three straight and the series.Click here to read the full Game Notes