Gameday: Lakers 96, Jazz 71

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Utah Jazz 17 14 15 25 71
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 18 23 30 25 96


Lakers rout Jazz, easily avoid 0-3 season start

By GREG BEACHAM

Posted Dec 27 2011 10:35PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, Pau Gasol added 22 points and nine rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers avoided just the fourth 0-3 start in franchise history with a 96-71 victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.

Metta World Peace scored 14 points for the Lakers, who had much more life than the Jazz despite playing their third game in three nights to open the season.

Los Angeles ran away with a dominant third quarter, making a 27-8 surge out of halftime in the club's first win for new coach Mike Brown.

Paul Millsap had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, the last NBA team to open its regular season. Coach Tyrone Corbin scowled throughout the lowest-scoring performance in an opener in franchise history.

In the Jazz's first season opener without coach Jerry Sloan running their bench since 1988, Utah made just 20 shots in the first three quarters and shot 20 fewer free throws than the Lakers. Al Jefferson went 2 for 16, C.J. Miles was 1 for 8, and rookie Enes Kanter was 1 for 7 in his NBA debut.

At least Utah's 25-point loss was one point better than the biggest blowout loss in Utah opener history.

Utah missed 17 of its first 19 shots in the second quarter while the Lakers made a 13-0 run capped by a one-handed dunk by World Peace, the normally ground-bound leader of Los Angeles' second unit. Los Angeles blew out the Jazz after halftime, jumping to a 68-39 lead with a 12-2 run.

With a Christmas loss to the Chicago Bulls and another defeat in Sacramento one night later, the Lakers got off to their first 0-2 start since the 2002-03 season. But Los Angeles has started 0-3 just three times in franchise history - just once in the last 50 years (1978-79).

The Lakers got their only back-to-back-to-back series of games out of the way immediately, although they still won't even get consecutive days off until mid-January. When the New York Knicks visit Staples Center on Thursday night, Los Angeles still will be without starting center Andrew Bynum, who will finish his four-game suspension for misbehavior in last spring's playoffs.

The Lakers already are hurting this season, with Bryant nursing a torn ligament in his right wrist and Gasol wearing extra support for his sprained right shoulder. Veteran Matt Barnes, who's dealing with bursitis in his left hip, didn't play for the second time in three games despite a loud fan chant for him in the fourth quarter.

Millsap came off the Utah bench, playing through tendinitis in his right quadriceps that nearly kept him out of uniform. Jazz newcomer Josh Howard had 10 points in 24 minutes.

NOTES: Corbin waited until right before game time to rule in Millsap, the Jazz's sturdy power forward. Millsap was a reserve for most of his first four NBA seasons, but started all 76 games in which he appeared last season. ... Lakers F Troy Murphy fouled out in 32 scoreless minutes, but he also had 11 rebounds and four assists. ... Utah plays five games in the next seven days, including a one-day trip to San Antonio. The Lakers have four games in the next seven days.

Copyright 2011 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






View More Photos


Points Bryant 26, 8-17 FG
Rebounds Murphy 11, 4 OFF 7 DEF
Assists Bryant 5
Steals Ebanks/Gasol 2
Blocks Gasol 5


POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike Brown:
Lakers coach Mike Brown opening statement:

“I thought our guys did a nice job defensively. They came out and they set the tone for the game on that end of the floor. We knew Utah --- they execute fairly well --- but more than anything else, they have a lot of live, active bodies that hit the glass. To hold a team to 32 percent and 71 points in an NBA game, I don’t care who you’re playing, you’re doing something right on that end of the floor. The focus, the energy, the effort, that communication and trust that we brought defensively was exciting to see.”

On Pau Gasol’s play tonight:

“His scoring game tonight, he was very aggressive. We need that aggression out of him. But he is a facilitator. He does it for his international team and he plays that high post area and makes plays. When they need him to score, he is obviously capable of scoring. I like Pau’s game; I like what he’s bringing to the table for us.”

On putting Kobe and Pau back in the fourth quarter:

“I told a couple people before the game that whether we win or lose, I was going to give them the day off. I wanted to make sure we secured this win. If I could have helped it, I wouldn’t have put those guys back in. In a lot of situations, I may not put those guys back in, but they were ready for us.”



Kobe Bryant:
On tonight’s game:

“We did a much better job defensively, we took care of the ball. We only had nine turnovers tonight, so that was a big key for us. But also we read each other a lot better, I know where my guys are, it makes it a lot easier to find them.”

On seeing improvements:

“Oh for sure, for sure. Utah is a very tough team to take out of their execution, and we managed to do that.”

On the Lakers new offense:

“There was an urgency in all those games, it’s just about execution. I’m telling you, you’ve got to get rid of the habits. We’ve been doing the same thing now for six, seven years, some of us longer than that. You’ve just got to break those habits.”




Metta World Peace:
On the Lakers first win:

“We’ve got a long way to go, it’s just one win. We’ve got to keep working, we’re still not satisfied, and we still have to improve.”

On his 14-point scoring effort:

“We’re just playing team ball that’s it. Some games I’m going to have two points, some games I’m going to have ten. The main thing is that we just play together.”




Pau Gasol:
On the Lakers first win:

“It was a good game overall, just a good effort. We got 48 minutes from everybody out there. I’m proud of our guys. Our hard work paid off and now we have to build on it.”

On his injured shoulder:

“It still bothers me a little bit but it felt better today than it did last night so it seems like it’s under control.”

On his offense:

“I am trying to be more active and make myself more available for my teammates and then just attack. I have to get to the line more like I did tonight and just be aggressive. Teams might throw different coverages here and there but I will just continue to be aggressive and it pays off.”




Tyrone Corbin:
On what worked and what didn’t work:

“Well, you know, we missed a lot of shots and I think that got off of our defensive game because we missed shots. They came out there really aggressive and they ran the ball down the board and got the ball where they wanted to and we didn’t get the shots I know we probably wanted to so we pressed a little bit.”

Jazz Coach Tyrone Corbin on his expectations for the Lakers:

“As I told the guys before the game, if you expect them [Lakers] to come out laying down because they feel that they played three games in three nights, you’re mistaken.”




C.J. Miles
On Lakers’s energy after playing three straight nights:

“Yeah, we expected them to come out and play hard, especially after losing two. They are coming out and trying to get a win, especially after the first one feeling like they shouldn’t have lost that one and the second one going in to a young Sacramento team. They were definitely going to come in tonight and try to be aggressive and try to get a win with their home fans behind them. And they did that. They came out and played hard.”




Al Jefferson:
On preseason game against Portland and this game mean maybe this season isn’t going to be easy:

“It’s a wakeup call but there’s no need to panic. We know what we got to do. When we started off everybody kept saying the Lakers are on their third game, in their third night but they were in more of a rhythm. This was our first game and we just had to be better than what we were but it’s a wakeup call and it’s not the end of the world. We played a good team on their home floor and we got to be better.”






Jazz-Lakers Preview

By JEFF BARTL

Posted Dec 26 2011 11:25PM

For better or worse, the Los Angeles Lakers are quickly getting their lone back-to-back-to-back stretch out of the way.

The Utah Jazz, meanwhile, are finally set to take the court in a game that counts.

Los Angeles looks to avoid its first 0-3 start in 33 years Tuesday night when it hosts Utah, which becomes the final team to open its season.

After blowing an 11-point lead late against Chicago on Christmas, the Lakers (0-2) continued their arduous stretch with a 100-91 loss in Sacramento on Monday, shooting 1 of 16 from 3-point range.

Each NBA team will play on three consecutive days at least once due to the lockout-shortened 66-game season, and Los Angeles was forced to face its test right off the bat.

"Everyone is going to have to play three straight games and we will have to find a way through this," coach Mike Brown said. "We have had a lot of practice, followed by a long day today, but everyone has to go through it as well."

Kobe Bryant scored 29 points but missed 14 of his 24 shots, while Metta World Peace scored 19 points off the bench.

The Lakers haven't lost their first three games since 1978 - the season before they drafted Magic Johnson with the No. 1 overall pick.

Bryant wasn't even two months old then.

"We have a lot of games left, a lot of games left," World Peace said. "Everything is going OK. Everything will be great."

Los Angeles looks for its first victory against a Utah team it has beaten 25 of the last 28 times at home, including the playoffs.

The Jazz, though, come in with extra time to prepare for a season opener without legendary coach Jerry Sloan for the first time since 1988.

Utah went 39-43 last season, missing the playoffs for the first time in five years and finishing with a sub-.500 record for the first time since going 26-56 in 2004-05.

It was a tumultuous season with as much attention focused off the court as on it. Sloan abruptly retired in February after a reported feud with Deron Williams, who was traded to New Jersey soon after.

The Jazz finished 8-20 after Sloan retired to slide out of the postseason picture under new coach Tyrone Corbin, who will seek improvement with a largely inexperienced team.

A host of youngsters will play key roles, including 20-year-old Derrick Favors, who came over from the Nets in the Williams trade. He averaged 8.2 points in 20.2 minutes per game after arriving in Utah but will see more time this season, especially after the Jazz traded Mehmet Okur to New Jersey on Thursday.

Rookie lottery picks Alec Burks and Enes Kanter should see plenty of minutes as well alongside Gordon Hayward, the No. 9 overall pick from the 2010 draft. Hayward scored a career-high 34 points as Utah closed its season with a 107-103 victory over Denver on April 13.

"You see the future out there and the future is bright," Burks said.

Much like Sloan's teams of the past, though, the veteran presence still remains.

Utah will lean heavily on Al Jefferson, who averaged 18.6 points and 9.7 rebounds while playing all 82 games for only the second time in his seven-year career.

Paul Millsap had a breakout 2010-11 in his fifth season, starting all 76 games he played and averaging 17.3 points and 7.6 boards. Fellow veterans Devin Harris and Raja Bell also figure to give Corbin a balance between youth and experience.

"We finished on a high note, won some games," Harris said. "But the downfall we had toward the end of last season was unacceptable. We know that, and we're looking forward to getting back at it."

Utah split four games with Los Angeles last season. The Jazz won 86-85 in L.A. in the most recent meeting April 5 behind 22 apiece from Millsap and Hayward, ending a 17-game losing streak at Staples Center.



Copyright 2011 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

Game Announcements
  • Andrew Bynum will miss today's game as he serves the third game of his four game suspension. Press Release
PROBABLE STARTERS
  Lakers    
  #3 Ebanks SF #20 Heyward  
  #6 McRoberts PF #13 Favors  
  #16 Gasol C #25 Jefferson  
  #24 Bryant SG #19 Bell  
  #2 Fisher PG #5 Harris  



Lakers Kobe Bryant
(torn lunotriquetral ligament, right wrist) is day-to-day
Devin Ebanks
(sore right foot) is probable.
Derrick Caracter
(torn lateral meniscus, left knee) is out.

Paul Millsap
(right quadriceps tendinitis) is day-to-day



Game 1: 12/27 - UTA @ LAL
Game 2: 01/11 - LAL @ UTA
Game 3: 02/04 - LAL @ UTA
Game 4: 03/18 - UTA @ UTA


GAME NOTES

SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS

The Lakers split last season’s series with Utah 2-2, snapping a four-year season series win streak against the Jazz: 2006-07 (2-1), 2007-08 (3-1), 2008-09 (2-1), 2009-10 (3-1). The Jazz and Lakers have met 154 times in the regular season (98-56) and 136 times since the Jazz moved to Utah (85-51). The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 regular season games against the Jazz. The Lakers are 19-4 all-time against the Jazz at STAPLES Center during the regular season but lost their most recent home contest with Utah (4/5/11). The loss was the Lakers first to the Jazz at STAPLES Center since January 1, 2006, snapping a nine game home win streak (17 in a row including the playoffs). In Utah, the Lakers have gone 4-6 in their last 10 regular season games at EnergySolutions Arena. In their first meeting of last season in Utah, the Lakers blew a 19-point lead in a 96-102 loss 11/26/10, but in their most recent meeting at EnergySolutions Arena, overcame a 17- point deficit to defeat the Jazz 96-85 4/1/11. In recent series history, on 12/9/09 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers held the Jazz to the 3rd 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. 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. In the postseason, the Lakers and Jazz have met six times (1988, 1997, 1998, 2008, 2009, 2010) with the Lakers advancing on four occasions: 1988 Conf. Semifinals (4-3), 2008 Conf. Semifinals (4-2), 2009 First Round 4-1 and 2010 Conf. Semifinals 4-0. 9-game 1/1/06 last home loss






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