Lakers Gameday | 02/10/10 | Jazz
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Lakers don't miss Kobe in 96-81 win over Jazz
By DOUG ALDEN
Posted Feb 10 2010 11:54PM
SALT LAKE CITY(AP) Pau Gasol had 22 points and 19 rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers won their third straight without Kobe Bryant, beating Utah 96-81 on Wednesday night and ending the Jazz's nine-game winning streak.
Bryant rested his sore left ankle and the Lakers fared just fine without their superstar, getting 25 points and 11 rebounds from Lamar Odom and 18 points from Jordan Farmar. Gasol added five blocks as he and Odom shut down the lane and forced the Jazz outside.
The Lakers broke open the game with a 12-0 run at the end of the first quarter and held a double-figure lead from early in the second period through the end.
Deron Williams had 11 points, 10 assists and was one rebound short of a triple-double for Utah.
Carlos Boozer had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko finished with 17 points, four blocks and five rebounds. Wesley Matthews added 13 points for the Jazz, who lost for the first time since Jan. 17.
Los Angeles enters the All-Star break with the best record in the Western Conference at 41-13 despite not having Bryant for the last three games.
They didn't appear to need him Wednesday, never letting the Jazz take a lead and flustering them into outside shots that wouldn't fall. The Jazz also hurt themselves with a dismal night at the foul line, going 13 for 25.
Utah made a short-lived run early in the fourth quarter, but could only get within 12 points before the Lakers ended their only cold stretch of the night.
The Lakers led by 19 at the end of the third and increased the lead to 20 before the fourth even began when Ronnie Price was called for a technical and Sasha Vujacic made the free throw to put the Lakers up 77-57. The Jazz tightened up defensively and used a 10-2 run to get back in it, holding the Lakers without a field goal until Farmar's 3-pointer with 6:50 remaining put Los Angeles up 82-67.
Farmar's shot got the Lakers rolling on a 9-2 run that pretty much sealed it.
The Lakers had been in control since the end of the first quarter. After the Jazz cut the lead to one point, the Lakers scored the next 12 and closed the period on Farmar's 3-pointer that just beat the buzzer and gave Los Angeles a 31-18 lead.
The Jazz didn't score from Paul Millsap's layup that cut it to 19-18 with 3:18 left in the period.
NOTES: The Lakers are 2-1 against Utah this season. ... Williams, Boozer, Odom and Bryant were named to the USA Basketball national team pool Wednesday. ... Odom converted three three-point plays in the first quarter. ... Odom and Vujacic had three steals each for the Lakers.
Copyright 2010 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
Lakers' Coach Phil Jackson on the game
"We finished strong. I was proud of them (the Lakers). We played well with the limited lineup that we had out there. We need to come back and pick it up again when we start on Tuesday. Lets take in the fact that this was not one of there better games. I think we took a little bit of spirit out of them in the third quarter. They could accept the half time score, but when we came back in the third quarter and established a little more of a lead, I think we took a little something out of them."
On team work
"We were the aggressor tonight and obviously having played last night (the Jazz) and having to come back from L.A. and do the trip we did the last time we saw them, it was our advantage tonight to run and to push the tempo a little bit. We were able to do that in the second period."
On what it says about winning three games without Kobe Bryant
"They are confident. They have an idea of what they are as an identity. I've really liked Lamar's game, he's played exceptionally well coming off the bench. Pau's done a good job and Shannon, Jordan, and the guys that have been on the bench, that have had to put in minutes for us have done a good job filling in."
Lakers' guard Jordan Farmar on the win
"We feel we're the most talent team in the league with the deepest bench. Coming off the bench it's great for me to get some extra opportunities with guys out. Everybody is playing excited. We're active defensively, everyone is talking to each other, and on offense we're just executing."
On holding off Utah in Salt Lake City
"We couldn't let the crowd into the game. This is one of the toughest places to play in the league and they play really well here. We wanted to keep up the intensity and energy and just keep the momentum on our side.
Lakers' forward Lamar Odom on the aggressiveness
"We just run our offense, and make plays that are in front of us. A lot of times they were backing up off me giving me room, and I just decided to take it to them. Use my handle a little bit and get to the rim. I can play. I can play a little bit. I'm decent, but the key is to focus. Make plays when they are out in front of you. I got into a rhythm at the free throw line. I missed one that I kind of left short."
On staying focused
"In the beginning of the game we came in really focused. We decided we weren't going to complain or lose our focus. Kind of stay poised. We were able to do that. This is a good team (Lakers) no matter who's in or who's out of the lineup. We have a lot of guys that can play. Sometimes when you lose a guy or two your focus is there as a team. In this building it's kind of easy to get embarrassed and ran out of here. We just wanted to finish the right way right before the break."
Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan on the game
"Was a very disappointing loss. I thought we would have a lot more energy playing against these guys. They came out and got after us. They did a great job of taking us out of our offense, their defense was very good. We couldn't get anything going. We couldn't move hard enough to get ourselves open and they just kept putting it to us. We had just a little bit of a spark there at the end. Ronnie Price came in and gave us a lift. But beyond that I didn't see any energy."
On the energy level
"We were 13-25 from the freethrow line, playing a team like this you cant keep letting things like that happen. You have to be focused a little bit more. Where our energy was is beyond me. We played last night and got home in plenty of time to get eight hours sleep. Our energy level was very, very low. Give them credit. They are a terrific team, that's why they are World Champions because they have a guy out, Kobe Bryant, and the other guys pick it up a notch. That's how it's supposed to be."
Jazz forward Paul Millsap on the game tonight
"[We had] no energy, I guess tired. But it's not an excuse. We should have come out and at least attempt to win the game. We were ready for other guys [on the Lakers] to step up, that's when other guys play at their best, when a star guy is out. It gives other people opportunities. We expected them to come out and get us out of the game…we lost it, so we need to get ready for the next game. We need to keep in shape throughout this All-Star Break and then go to Houston and try and get a win down there."
What's more frustrating, ending the streak or the way the Jazz played tonight?
"The way we played, definitely. The way we played. We had no energy tonight."
Jazz guard Deron Williams on Kobe sitting out
"It's the NBA, people sit out every day. They had more energy than us tonight, they played harder, competed harder and looked like they wanted the game more."
On the end of the winning streak
"We had a great streak. We lost against a good team. Regardless of Kobe Bryant, they are still a good team. They came in here and played well and beat us. We have to give them credit for being a tough team. You can't dwell on it, we have some road games we have to get when we get back from the break…they came in here and beat us in our building. We are going to see them again this season. It's definitely a tough game for us to swallow, but we had a great run. What can I say?"
What are you looking forward to during All-Star Weekend
"I'm just excited to be able to spend some time with my family. That's the main thing. I am definitely excited to be in the All-Star game and be part of the All-Star Weekend in general. It's always a fun time, to do some work in the community and just have a good time."
Lakers vs. Jazz Game Preview
By JEFF MEZYDLO
Posted Feb 10 2010 2:44AM
Even at full strength the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers were likely in for a big challenge against the surging Utah Jazz. Facing the West's hottest team without a pair of injured stars figures to make that challenge even more difficult.
With center Andrew Bynum out and the status of Kobe Bryant still uncertain due to a sore left ankle, the visiting Lakers try to snap the Jazz's nine-game winning streak Wednesday night.
Los Angeles (40-13) proved it could win without Bryant (28.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists per game), winning 99-82 at Portland on Saturday and 101-89 over San Antonio on Monday to improve to 55-33 in his career when he does not play. However, the Lakers' task could be truly daunting if their ailing superstar is unable to go against Utah (32-18), which is in the midst of its longest winning streak since taking 12 in a row Feb. 11-March 10.
A victory Wednesday would give the Jazz their 10th double-digit winning streak in franchise history, and ninth under coach Jerry Sloan.
The Lakers' training staff would like Bryant to rest through the upcoming All-Star weekend, but Bryant said he's not ruling out playing Wednesday.
"If I'm ready to go, I'll play," said Bryant, who's averaging 21.5 points, 6.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds in two games against Utah this season.
"If it's an injury where I feel like I can play through it and have it heal while I'm playing, then I'll play. But if it's the type of injury where it's going to get worse when I play, then I won't."
Coach Phil Jackson said Tuesday it's likely Bynum (15.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg) will miss a second straight game due to a bruised right hip.
"Right now he has kind of resigned himself to the fact that (he won't play)," Jackson told the Lakers' official Web site.
Forward Lamar Odom, who's recorded 32 rebounds in his last two contests, underwent a MRI on his sore left foot Tuesday, but is probable for Wednesday.
Facing the likelihood of a thin lineup, the Lakers may rely heavily on All-Star forward Pau Gasol, who had 21 points, 19 boards, eight assists and five blocked shots Monday as the Lakers overcame a 43.7-percent shooting effort by holding their second straight opponent to fewer than 90 points.
"I don't think we're playing that well, but we are winning the games," Jackson said. "We settle in and play good defense. We can shoot the ball better than we are doing.''
Shooting wasn't the problem in Los Angeles' 102-94 loss at Utah on Dec. 12. Gasol had 16 points and 20 rebounds as the Lakers shot 46.3 percent, but allowed the Jazz to make 51.9 percent of their shots and avoid a third straight loss to the Lakers.
Utah's Carlos Boozer, who had 12 points with eight rebounds and seven assists in that victory, had 34 points and 14 boards in a 109-99 road win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
Deron Williams added 13 points with 11 assists as the Jazz won for the 13th time in 14 games overall. Utah is averaging 110.6 points on 52.6 percent shooting during that stretch.
"We're confident and we're having fun," Williams said. "After being in 11th place (in the West) a couple of weeks ago, now we're in third. I think we're playing the way we thought we would play coming into the season."
Headed to his first All-Star Game, Williams had 21 points and 11 assists against the Lakers in the Dec. 12 matchup. He's averaging 28.3 points with 9.2 assists while shooting 58.6 percent in his last four home games versus Los Angeles.
Copyright 2010 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
Kobe Bryant (sprained left ankle / avulsion fracture, right index finger) is questionable.
Andrew Bynum (bruised right hip) is doubtful.
Lamar Odom (sore left foot) is probable.
SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers have split the first two games of their season series with the Jazz 1-1 with two games remaining. Los Angeles has won each of its last three season series with the Jazz: 2006-07 (2-1), 2007-08 (3-1) and 2008-09 (2-1). The Jazz and Lakers have now met 148 times in the regular season (94-54) and 130 times since the Jazz moved to Utah (81-49). In the postseason, the Lakers have split four series with the Jazz, winning the 2008 Western Conference Semifinals 4-2 and the 2009 Western Conference First Round 4-1. The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 regular season games with the Jazz. In Utah, the Lakers have gone 3-7 in their last 10 regular season games at EnergySolutions Arena. The Lakers are 17-3 all-time against the Jazz at STAPLES Center during the regular season and have won their last seven straight (13 in a row including the playoffs). Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 24-12 against Utah in the regular season. In their first meeting of the season 12/9/09 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers held the Jazz to the third fewest fourth quarter points (6) in the NBA's shot clock era. In 2006, the Lakers scored a series record 132 points in a 132- 102 victory 11/30/06 at STAPLES Center, improving upon the old mark of 131 points achieved at Utah 12/4/86. 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 3rd quarter tied his own franchise record and is tied for the 4th- highest scoring quarter in NBA history. In 45 games against the Jazz (37 starts), Bryant is averaging 26.2 points. Additionally, Lakers guard Derek Fisher played the 2006-07 season for Utah, appearing in all 82 games, starting 61 and averaging 10.1 points and 3.3 assists in 27.9 minutes.
GASOL'S HISTORIC LINE
In the Lakers 101-89 victory over the Spurs on February 8, Pau Gasol recorded game-highs in points (21), rebounds (19), assists (8) and blocks (5). Since the NBA began tracking blocked shots prior to the 1973-74 season, only six other times in NBA history has a player recorded 21+ points, 19+ rebounds, 8+ assists and 5+ blocks in a single game. Gasol, who accomplished that feat for the 7th time in league history, became 6th player ever to do so and the first since Shaquille O'Neal in January of 2000.
BRYANT ONE GAME SHY OF 1,000 FOR HIS CAREER
Having missed the last two games due to a sprained left ankle, the next game Kobe Bryant plays in will be the 1,000th regular season contest of his career. Bryant, who entered the season ranked 2nd on the Lakers all-time games played list, will be just the second Laker in franchise history to reach the 1,000 game milestone, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,093) in that exclusive club. In terms of playoff games, Bryant (175 games) currently ranks 3rd in franchise history behind Abdul Jabbar (180) and Earvin "Magic" Johnson (190).
On February 6th at Portland, Kobe Bryant missed his first game since 3/7/07, snapping a streak of 235 consecutive games played. Bryant's streak ranked 5th among active players prior to his absence. So far this season, Bryant has missed two games, bringing his career total to 88 missed games in this his 14th NBA season. In games that Bryant has not played but been on the team's roster, the Lakers are 55-33 overall. However, since 2003-04, in 42 games without Bryant, the Lakers are just 19-23.
ODOM RECORDS 3,000th ASSIST; BECOMES 8th FASTEST PLAYER IN NBA HISTORY TO REACH 6,000 REBOUNDS & 3,000 ASSISTS
In the Lakers 99-82 victory over the Trail Blazers on February 6, Lamar Odom recorded his 3,000th career assist. With 3,001 assists and 6,372 rebounds after 717 career games, Lamar Odom became the 8th fastest player in NBA history (in terms of games) to total 3,000 assists AND 6,000 rebounds. Already a member of the 10,000 point club, Odom joins Larry Bird (574 games), Chris Webber (667 games), Kevin Garnett (681 games), Oscar Robertson (688 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (691 games), Wilt Chamberlain (691 games) and Elgin Baylor (716) as the only players to amass 3,000 assists and 6,000 rebounds in as few as 717 games.
BRYANT MOVES PAST JERRY WEST FOR FIRST ON LAKERS ALL-TIME SCORING LIST (14th ON NBA LIST); REGGIE MILLER 33 POINTS AWAY With a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1 at Memphis, Kobe Bryant moved past Jerry West (25,192) for first on the Lakers all-time scoring list and 14th on the NBA's all-time scoring list, finishing the game with 44 points (West's retired number). Bryant (25,246) is now 33 points shy of Reggie Miller (25,279) for 13th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list are Alex English (12th/25,613), John Havlicek (11th/26,395) and Dominique Wilkins (10th/26,668).
Less than a month earlier, with 22 points 1/5 vs. Houston, Bryant moved past Patrick Ewing (24,815) for 15th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. In November, with his free throw at the 6:07 mark of the third quarter 11/19 vs. Chicago, Bryant moved past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24,176) for 2nd on the Lakers all-time franchise scoring list while with 41 points 11/6 vs. Memphis, Bryant moved past Allen Iverson for 16th on the all-time list. Bryant has been steadily moving up the list the last few years and last season alone, passed Charles Barkley (23,757) for 17th, Robert Parish (23,334) for 18th, Adrian Dantley (23,177) for 19th, Elgin Baylor (23,149) for 20th, Clyde Drexler (22,195) for 21st, Gary Payton (21,813) for 22nd and Larry Bird (21,791) for 23rd.
LAKERS FIRST NBA FRANCHISE TO 3,000 WINS
With their 100-95 victory at Dallas January 13th, the Los Angeles Lakers became the first NBA franchise to 3,000 wins. The Lakers (3,010-1,854) recorded 457 wins over twelve seasons as the Minneapolis Lakers and have now posted 2,553 wins since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season.