GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT Final
Box Score Utah Jazz 23 19 19 17 9 87
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 26 15 25 12 12 90


Bryant scores 40 points, Lakers beat Jazz in OT

By LYNN DeBRUIN

Posted Jan 11 2012 8:55PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 40 points and Andrew Bynum blocked Al Jefferson's shot with 1.9 seconds left in overtime to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 90-87 victory over Utah on Wednesday night, ending the Jazz's winning streak at five.

The win was the first on the road for the Lakers, while Utah dropped its first home game after starting 5-0.

Los Angeles handed the Jazz a 96-71 loss Dec. 27 in Utah's season opener.

This one was close, with Paul Millsap's tip-in tying it at 78 with 21 seconds left in regulation.

Bryant missed a shot at the buzzer that would have won it in regulation for Los Angeles.

Millsap scored the first four points of overtime, but the Lakers fought back, with 3-pointers by Bryant and Pau Gasol.

The Jazz had a chance to win it, but Bynum blocked Jefferson's short jumper.

Millsap led Utah with 29 points.

Bryant sank a pair of free throws for the final margin, then blocked a long 3-point attempt by Devin Harris as the Jazz inbounded with 0.7 seconds remaining in OT.

The Lakers led by six points in the fourth quarter but the Jazz fought back.

Josh Howard's 3-pointer tied it at 76 with 57 seconds remaining. Bryant followed with an off-balance jumper, but Millsap tied it again at 78 with 21 seconds left on a tip-in.

In overtime, Bynum came up big.

His tip-in gave the Lakers an 88-85 lead with 51 seconds left, then he had the block.

Bynum did not play in the first game this season because he was serving a suspension.

The Jazz shot just 38.7 percent.

Jefferson, who had 30 points Tuesday, had just 11 Wednesday on 5-of-17 shooting. He had only two points in the first 19 minutes.

The Lakers jumped ahead 53-50 midway through the third quarter, with Bryant scoring six points in an 8-2 run.

The Lakers bumped their lead to six points, before Jefferson sparked a rally with a baseline jumper and back-to-back blocks.

Steve Blake's 3-pointer and a goaltending call against Utah's Derrick Favors gave the Lakers a 66-61 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Utah led 42-41 at halftime after holding the Lakers to just 15 points in the second quarter.

Neither team shot the ball well in the first half, with the Jazz hitting 43.5 percent of their shots and the Lakers shooting 45 percent.

Utah shot 38.7 percent on the night.

The Jazz opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run, with Utah's bench providing the spark. Favors jammed off the fast break, rookie Enes Kanter powered up a layup despite a defender on the ball, and C.J. Miles grabbed an errant pass and dunked for a 29-26 Utah lead with 9:05 left in the half.

Bryant kept the Lakers right there, with 21 first-half points on 8-of-13 shooting.

NOTES: Lakers forward Jason Kapono was not with the team Wednesday so he could be with his wife, who gave birth Tuesday to twin girls. ... Josh McRoberts (sprainged toe/thumb) and Troy Murphy (stomach ailment) also did not suit up for L.A. ... Jazz guard Raja Bell was assessed a first-quarter technical after giving Bryant a quick shove then having a few words with him. ... Both teams were a combined 1-10 from 3-point range in the first half... Lakers guard Steve Blake suffered a rib contusion in the fourth quarter.

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





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Points Bryant 40, 14-31 FG
Rebounds Gasol 11, 3 OFF 8 DEF
Assists Fisher 7
Steals 5 Tied with 3
Blocks Bynum 5


POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike Brown:

On the defensive effort against the Jazz:

“Andrew was good too. He kind of made up his own coverage on Al (Jefferson). We kept trying to tell him to get out of it, but he wouldn’t listen to us. Whatever he did worked. So, I may add it to my defensive playbook. May just call it the Bynum-package or something like that. You’re not going to stop a guy like (Al) Jefferson, you just hope you can make him work. I thought Andrew did a solid job of trying to make him work, trying to keep him in front of him and make him shoot over him.”

On Bynum’s defense on Al Jefferson:

“His [Pau] defense down the stretch on Nash, just kind of flying around was phenomenal. He’s like the energizer bunny rabbit.”




Derek Fisher:

On returning to Utah:

“Emotionally, at least, it’s gotten easier. In terms of the game, it’s always tough to get a win in this building, but, emotionally, each year that has gone by it’s gotten a little bit easier and more comforting to come back... It’s something that will always be with me and I’ll never forget, but life has moved on.”

On defensive stops at the end of the game:

“Andrew’s plays... the tip-in offensively to get a late bucket for us and then, defensively, to impact Al’s first shot and then block the second attempt... those are big plays. Down the stretch, we rely so heavily on Kobe’s offense that a lot of guys weren’t touching the basketball offensively and so it’s just great to have a guy make a major contribution like that to help us secure this game on the defensive end.”




Kobe Bryant:

On getting team’s first road win of the season:

“We were bound to get one eventually. It felt good to get one here. This is a very tough place to play and it was a huge test for us.”

On defensive stop at the end of the game:

“It was a big play. He had to recover. He did a good job getting his hands on the ball. He had the athleticism to contest it at the end. It was a huge play.”




Tyrone Corbin:

On the overtime period:

“They (Lakers) made shots. They came down, they picked up on defense, we had some good looks. We missed the shots. They came down, Pau (Gasol) made a three in the corner. Kobe pulled up and made a big shot. They made shots, we missed a couple. Our effort was great though.”




Josh Howard:

On tonight’s loss

“Overall I think we put forth the maximum effort. It teaches us what we need to do night-in and night-out. Tough loss like you said, but we need to turn the page and get ready for New Jersey.”




Raja Bell:

On losing the lead in overtime:

“I always think we are better when our ball is moving and our people are moving. There were a few possessions where we got the ball into the post late in the shot clock and then just sat and watched. I think it was a credit to the Lakers, they turned their defense up, made tough shots and made us go one on one.”

On the battle between he and Kobe

“Yeah, it was a good game. I felt like we had great opportunities tonight and feel like we did some things really well as a team. You know Kobe’s going to get a volume of shots; he’s going to get the ball all night long and you have to trust that you have good help behind you and make it tough for him. He’s going to score his points. Scorers in this league, I’ve always subscribed to this theory, they’re going to get their points... you just have to make him take a field goal percentage to your liking. If he’s going to take 31 shots to get 40, then that’s pretty much all you can do. Anyone shooting 31 shots should score 40.”






Lakers-Jazz Preview

By JEFF MEZYDLO

Posted Jan 10 2012 11:32PM

The start of a new calendar year might have been all the Utah Jazz needed to overcome their early struggles.

Hoping to remain undefeated in 2012, the Jazz look for a sixth consecutive victory while trying to keep red-hot Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles Lakers winless on the road Wednesday night.

Utah (6-3) did not get off to a good start to its season by shooting 32.2 percent - including 1 of 13 from 3-point range - during a 96-71 road loss to the Lakers on Dec. 27. The Jazz followed that performance by dropping two of their next three games to finish the 2011 calendar year 18-35.

Since the calendar turned to January, Utah has won all five games it has played. The Jazz posted their highest point total of the season while shooting a sizzling 59.2 percent in a 113-105 home win over Cleveland on Tuesday. Al Jefferson had a season-high 30 points with 12 rebounds as Utah moved into position to start 6-0 at home for the first time since 2008-09.

Jefferson, though, is not about to get caught up in a second straight strong start for the Jazz, who opened last season 15-5 only to wind up missing the playoffs. "We were here last year and let it go," Jefferson said. "That's why I'm not as excited. We play every game like we're last in the West and that's what we are going to continue to do until all is said and done. Everybody's got to keep that same attitude. We got to stay hungry."

That's especially true against the Lakers (7-4), who are looking for a fourth straight win overall but are also trying to avoid starting 0-4 on the road for the first time since 1995-96 - the season before Bryant entered the league. Utah lost 96-85 at home to Los Angeles on April 1, but has won nine of its last 14 against the Lakers at EngerySolutions Arena.

Extending that successful stretch could be tough as the Jazz try to contain Bryant, who scored a season-high 48 points and shot 18 of 31 in the Lakers' 99-83 win over Phoenix on Tuesday.

"I just felt like I was in a good rhythm," said Bryant, averaging 29.5 points despite playing with an injured wrist.

Bryant, who has scored at least 40 six times versus Utah during his career, is averaging 36.0 points on 51.5 percent shooting in his last five games. Bryant's effort Tuesday and his 39-point performance in a 97-90 win over Golden State on Friday are the two highest scoring games by any player on the young NBA season.

He's averaged 29.8 points in his last four regular season and playoff games at Utah.

"I'm ready for the next one," Bryant told the Lakers' official website. "(Wednesday) is going to be a big challenge, especially coming off a back to back... "I'm looking forward to it already."

Los Angeles is averaging 96.0 points on 48.0 percent shooting while going 7-1 at Staples Center, but has shot just 42.7 percent while scoring 92.3 per contest in its three road defeats.

"The jury is still out on how good we can be, but we're going to continue to try to do the work," said Bryant, who had 26 points, eight rebounds, and five assists against the Jazz last month.

Jefferson pulled down 10 rebounds in that contest for the Jazz, but scored only four points. The veteran forward has averaged 22.3 points in six games since missing Utah's 102-99 win over Philadelphia on Dec. 30 due to a right ankle injury.


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    
  #9 Barnes SF #20 Hayward  
  #16 Gasol PF #24 Millsap  
  #17 Bynum C #25 Jefferson  
  #24 Bryant SG #19 Bell  
  #2 Fisher PG #19 Harris  



Lakers Kobe Bryant
(torn lunotriquetral ligament, right wrist) is probable.
Derrick Caracter
(torn lateral meniscus, left knee) is out.
Pau Gasol
(sprained right shoulder) is probable.
Josh McRoberts
(sprained left big toe and left thumb) is doubtful.
Troy Murphy
(gastroenteritis) is questionable.

N/A



Game 1: 12/27 – Lakers 96, Jazz 71
Game 2: 01/11 – LAL @ UTA
Game 3: 02/04 – LAL @ UTA
Game 4: 03/18 – UTA @ LAL


GAME NOTES

SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers lead the season series with Utah 1-0 after splitting last season’s series 2-2. Last season’s split snapped 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 155 times in the regular season (99-56) and 137 times since the Jazz moved to Utah (86-51). The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 regular season games against the Jazz. The Lakers are 20-4 all-time against the Jazz at STAPLES Center during the regular season but lost their second home contest with Utah last season (4/5/11), a loss that 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).


BRYANT NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR 29th TIME
Averaging a league-high 33.0 points on 49.5% shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists while helping the Lakers to a 3-1 record, Kobe Bryant earned his FIRST WC Player of the week award this season for games played Monday, Jan. 2 through Sunday, Jan. 8. The award is the 29th of Bryant’s career (27 Western Conference POW, 2 NBA POW), further surpassing Magic Johnson’s 18 NBA POW awards as the franchise’s all-time leader. Johnson, however, earned each of his Player of the Week nods before the award was separated by Conference prior to the 2001-02 season. Bryant’s other WC POW honors came in weeks ending: 11/4/01, 1/20/02, 11/3/02, 12/8/02, 1/12/03, 2/2/03, 2/23/03, 2/17/04, 3/22/04, 11/13/05, 12/18/05, 12/25/05, 1/22/06, 4/16/06, 3/18/07, 3/25/07, 1/13/08, 3/2/08, 4/6/08, 12/28/08, 1/11/09, 3/15/09, 11/22/09, 12/20/09, 12/27/09 and 3/27/11. His two NBA Player of the Week honors came in weeks ending 4/16/00 and 12/24/00. The NBA began the Player of the Week award in 1979-80.


WINNING IN SPITE OF TURNOVERS
In their 90-82 victory over Memphis on January 8, the Lakers turned the ball over 27 times; their highest total since turning it over 27 times in a 96-89 loss to Philadelphia on March 27, 2005 at STAPLES Center. The last time the Lakers had at least 27 turnovers and won came in a 106-102 overtime victory on April 20, 1999 at Golden State (27 turnovers). For the Lakers last regulation victory with at least 27 turnovers, one has to go all the way back to November 3, 1995 when they defeated the Denver Nuggets 98-96 at the Great Western Forum despite turning the ball over 27 times. On the season, the Lakers are now 5-2 when turning it over more than their opponents.


BRYANT A WARRIOR AGAINST GOLDEN STATE


On January 6th, Kobe Bryant scored 39 points as the Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors 97-90 at STAPLES Center, marking the 14th time that Bryant has scored 35-or-more points in a game against the Warriors, the most such games he has against any opponent in his career. Bryant has scored 35-or-more points against the Phoenix Suns 13 times and has done so 12 times against both Portland and Sacramento.*

SHOOTING BLANKS
In their January 5 loss at Portland, the Lakers struggled to 0-for-11 shooting from behind the three-point arc despite opening the contest connecting on 11 of their first 12 field goals. The zero in the three-point field goals made column marks the first time the Lakers have not made at least one three-point shot since November 16, 2003 vs. Miami when the team combined to go 0-for-9. With 11 attempts and zero made, the Lakers also equaled the franchise record for most three-point field goal attempts without a make, established, ironically, 2/26/83 at Portland (0-11 3FG) and equaled again on 3/9/01 vs. San Antonio (0-11 3FG).


BRYANT NEARING SHAQUILLE O’NEAL FOR 5th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (28,144) are Shaquille O’Neal (5th/28,596), Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone (2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform.

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. In 2009-10, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West’s retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).


*Statistical research assistance provided by the Elias Sports Bureau






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