Lakers Gameday | 05/02/10 | Jazz

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Utah Jazz 23 22 28 26 99
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 30 23 28 23 104


Lakers-Jazz Highlights


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Kobe rallies Lakers past Jazz in 2nd-round opener


LOS ANGELES(AP) Just in case the Utah Jazz forgot how Kobe Bryant finishes games, he provided another painful playoff reminder.

Bryant scored 11 of his 31 points in the final four minutes, and the Los Angeles Lakers blew a fourth-quarter lead before rallying for a 104-99 victory over the Jazz in their second-round series opener Sunday.

Pau Gasol had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the top-seeded Lakers, who played a dismal final period before Bryant seized control. Last season's NBA finals MVP coolly scored seven consecutive points to erase Utah's four-point lead, followed by a dynamic slice through the lane for a layup with 22.6 seconds left.

The clubs are meeting in the postseason for the third consecutive year after the Lakers ended Utah's last two seasons, including a first-round victory in 2009. In each of the teams' previous five playoff meetings, the winner went on to the NBA finals.

Deron Williams scored 24 points for fifth-seeded Utah, which managed just one more field goal after taking a 93-89 lead with 4:10 to play. Utah has lost 15 straight to the Lakers at Staples Center, including seven playoff games.

Los Angeles will host Game 2 of the best-of-seven series on Tuesday night.

Carlos Boozer had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Utah. Paul Millsap and C.J. Miles contributed 16 points apiece, including several difficult baskets in the fourth quarter while the Jazz surged ahead with a 12-1 run.

It wasn't enough to stop Bryant, who took over right when Utah's excited bench seemed certain it was headed to an upset win.

Both teams finished their first-round series roughly 36 hours earlier, with the Lakers winning at Oklahoma City on Gasol's last-second tip-in shortly before Utah held off Denver.

Lakers center Andrew Bynum started and played 24 minutes after discovering a small tear in the meniscus of his right knee Saturday. The 7-footer wore a large brace on his knee, but didn't appear limited while collecting eight points and 10 rebounds.

Utah also has pronounced injury problems. With Andrei Kirilenko still sidelined with a strained left calf and center Mehmet Okur out for the postseason, the Jazz struggled to guard the Lakers inside when Los Angeles forced the ball down low.

But the Lakers sometimes seemed disinterested, a mood matched by the home crowd. After the Lakers' consecutive losses to Oklahoma City inspired a crackling atmosphere for their blowout victory in Game 5 last week, Staples Center was back to its usual relaxed state.

Los Angeles gave out thousands of white T-shirts in an apparent attempt at a whiteout crowd to go with the Lakers' Sunday white uniforms, but the majority of fans didn't bother to put on the shirts. Lakers fans get excited about titles, not T-shirts - and despite an inconsistent regular season, their team appears capable of contending for its 16th crown.

Williams injured his elbow late in Utah's series-clinching win over Denver, putting his availability for Game 1 in doubt. He forced the Jazz to call a full timeout just 20 seconds in after hurting his arm on their first possession. Yet he showed no obvious favor toward the injury while scoring 17 points in the first half.

Los Angeles opened with 15-for-19 shooting in the first quarter, including five shots without a miss by Bryant. The Lakers led by 14 in the first half, but Utah sliced the lead to three in the third quarter before heading into the final period trailing 81-73.

With both teams using four reserves apiece to open the fourth quarter, Utah trimmed the Lakers' lead to 82-81 on Millsap's layup with 7:43 left. Miles' free throws gave Utah its first lead since the first quarter moments later - but then Bryant got started.

NOTES: Lakers coach Phil Jackson's teams are 45-0 in playoff series after winning the first game, including 21-0 with Los Angeles. ... The clubs met in the first round last season and the second round in 2008. Utah beat the Lakers in two playoff series in the late 1990s, and the Lakers won their first postseason meeting in 1988. ... Courtside fans included Sylvester Stallone, director Michael Bay and former Walt Disney Co. CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who also attended Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s victory over Sugar Shane Mosley in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

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

5 Game-high steals for Derek Fisher, who also scored 10 points with three rebounds and three assists in a strong overall game. He made 4-of-7 shots from the field to continue his good shooting from the OKC series.

5 Same number, but for Pau Gasol’s blocks. The Spaniard was terrific in general, adding 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting, 12 rebounds and four assists to his swats.

15 Straight wins for L.A. over the Jazz at STAPLES Center.

31 Points for Kobe Bryant, including 11 in the final four minutes, to lead all scorers. He needed only 19 attempts to get there, making 12 (63.2 percent), as his lift looked good throughout the contest.

78.9 L.A.’s shooting percentage in a ridiculous 15-of-19 first quarter. The Lakers wouldn’t slow down too much until the fourth quarter, finishing at 53.2 percent for the game compared with Utah’s 44.7 percent.

Mike Trudell,

Lakers-Jazz Quotes

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson on today’s game:

“Well we found a way to get the momentum back in the last 6 minutes of the game after they came out with a pretty good charge in the second half. They played very aggressively and they took the ball really at us in most of the second half.”

On Lamar Odom in today’s game:
“ He kept playing through it and I think that was the energy that we had to have, aside from that opportunity we had late in the game, where he had a really key play for us.”

On Kobe Bryant in today’s game:
“Well I felt that he put [the game] on his shoulders. First half too, I thought he did a good job with the first half.”

On Pau Gasol in today’s game:
“Well he’s got the length that I think is disturbing to this team. They get the shots off quick. A lot of their guys are around the basket and he’s able to get from one point to the next, cross the lane, and get some blocks. He had a terrific game for us today.”

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on the momentum swing back and forth in the final quarter:
“Put ourselves in a bit of a hole in the fourth quarter and let them gain all the momentum. At that point, we just got to buckle down. It’s tough to change momentum when it’s that late in the game.”

On Andrew Bynum playing through his injury:
“I think he’s doing a great job. He’s playing through an injury. Sometimes you have to do that. That’s how you grow.”

On his health:
“I was able to move around and games where we only had a day between, and it’s an early game at that. It’s encouraging for me to move around and be able to do what I want to do.”

On whether there is a mismatch in size between the Lakers and the Jazz:
“We’re big too. So we’ve had mismatches all over the floor, including with Ron. So we just have to be patient and try not to overdo it. But let it kind of come in the context of what we’re doing.

Lakers’ Center Andrew Bynum on his injury:
“It is there with me every step, but it is the kind of thing that I can play through till the end of the season.”

On whether he was surprised the Jazz came back:
“Not really. We have been giving up leads all season long and we need to fix that problem. Ever team is going to be a tough opponent for us.”

Lakers Forward Luke Walton on coming back in the fourth:
“That was big and that is what championships teams try to do is close and lock down when we have to. Obviously we would like to lock down all the game and we did that a couple times in the last series against Oklahoma, but tonight we weren’t really getting those stops till those last three or four minutes, but once we were down we came back and took the lead and that shows a lot of our team.”

On playing the Jazz three-consecutive years in the playoffs:
“It is definitely tough, but at the same time it helps us. They know what we are doing but we know exactly what they are doing too. In the end it comes down to who wants it more and who can execute it better. There are no secrets. No secret plays and no secrets to not being familiar with the team. We know them as well as any other team in the NBA.”

Lakers’ Pau Gasol on whether the Lakers brought any momentum to this game from the Oklahoma City series:
“Of course, you’ve got to. You’ve got to carry momentum when you’re playing well, you’re playing together. You’ve got to carry it to the next series, the next opponent. You definitely have to make sure you start off a series on a winning note.”

On what the Lakers did well down the stretch:
“Communication. Intensity. You’ve got to make plays down the stretch. You’ve got to come out with defensive stops in order to win. That’s as simple as that – if you don’t come up with them, you lose the game.”

On trying to win games in a more convincing margin:
“We want to make sure we work and we put more effort into keeping leads and building on leads and stretching the games out.”

On his approach on defense against the Jazz:
“Like we did against Oklahoma, you got to make sure we support our guards. They tried to go to more penetration in the second half and they were successful at it so I’m sure we’re going to see a little more of that in Game 2.”

Lakers’ Forward Lamar Odom on the second unit’s performance today:
“We have not played well as a group recently and if we don’t get it together soon then you know… It is like the starting five can’t get it together and come out in the game. The way we [second unit] are playing the starting five can’t get a rest and we can’t hold a lead that they have built and that is not good. In practice tomorrow we will talk about what is wrong and get to it and fix it.”

On today’s game:
“I am disappointed on our energy today, our collective energy as a unit is really suspect.”

Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan on today’s game:
“I thought our guys really came back after being down in the ball game. I think we got off to a terrible start, the way we tried to run an offense. They did a great job of taking us out, to some extent, but I thought we accepted that too much to start with and got ourselves in a hole.”

On the end of today’s game:
“I have to give [the Lakers] credit for being able to take us out of it. But bottom line was we couldn’t keep them off the free throw line when we tried to finish, when we had the lead.”

On if there’s anything to learn from this game:
“With young players, there’s always something to learn. Number one, they’re a great team; they’ve got great individuals that you’ve got to stand up and attest because they’re going to challenge you on everything you do. I thought we faltered a little bit to start with, in that category… Kobe obviously finished us off coming down the stretch.”

On the Lakers’ rebounding at the end of the game:
“There were a couple of offensive rebounds that I thought really hurt us. We’re trying to win the ball game and if you come up with the basketball, I think it might have made a difference in the ball game. Those are the little things that against them, they’re a very smart team, they do things very well and they get what they want most of the time.”

Jazz Guard Deron Williams on if this series will be similar to Lakers vs. Jazz series in the past:
“Hopefully not. Since I’ve been here we haven’t won one. It was a good effort by us. We had a chance to win the ball game at the end. Aside from that, the slow start, I was pretty much happy at how we played.”

On how he feels about the physicality of this game:
“Yea I’m beat up. You know, that’s normal around this time of year. It’s not a big deal and I’ll be ready to go next game.”

On if there’s a trend that the Jazz and Lakers tend to change leads often during games:
“It is kind of repetitive. Like I said, we had a chance to win this game; we just didn’t make the plays down the stretch when it counted. Couldn’t get a stop, Kobe hit some unbelievable shots and that’s pretty much it.”

On not being able to establish their inside game early:
“We shot a lot of jump shots to start the game, instead of going inside-out and I think that’s why they built that lead because we weren’t hitting shots. We got some open looks but we needed to pound this out a little more, early [in the game].”

Jazz Forward Carlos Boozer on if the team was disappointed about the loss today:
“Yes, we’re disappointed. We thought we had the chance to win the game. It was right there. They beat us.”

On the adjustments that the team made in the second half:
“We just came out more aggressive. Tried to take it to the rim a lot, tried to get to the free throw line. Sometimes we got there, sometimes we didn’t get the whistle. Rebounding the ball well. We were aggressive. We executed our offense pretty good. They just beat us.”

On the adjustments that need to be made before Game 2:
“I thought we were aggressive in the second half. We got to be aggressive. We started off the game shooting a lot of jump shots. In the second half, we drove the ball to the hoop a lot more. We got the ball inside a lot more and we got a chance to get back in the game. That’s how we got to start the game. We got to start the game the way we played the second half.”

Jazz Forward CJ Miles on tonight’s game:
“They played well. They made some big shots down the stretch. We had a tough first half and we had to dig out of the hole. Then we got momentum back a little bit late in the game and Kobe made some shots. It’s kind of tough but we stayed with it. It was right there. There are some little things to talk about in the next couple days and we’ll win.”

On the adjustments that the team made in the second half:
“To be aggressive. To not let them bring it to us, bring it to them. Try to stand up and don’t be intimidated by those big guys inside and that’s what we did. You saw a lot of us attack the basket as hard as we could, try to get to the free throw line or even just got to the rim. Even if we didn’t make it, it gave the guys a chance for the offensive rebounds because the bigs had to help. I think we did a good job of just staying aggressive on both ends.”

Jazz Guard Wesley Matthews on the Lakers:
“They’re a long team. They’re an athletic team. They’re the defending champs. We just got to match what they bring at home and I think we’ll be alright.”

Lakers-Jazz Preview


For Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams, this third time isn't particularly charming.

For the third straight postseason, the Utah Jazz have run into the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol ended Utah's last two playoff runs, and the franchise with 15 NBA titles again is blocking the Jazz's pursuit of their first.

Although Utah finished just four games behind the top-seeded Lakers in the overall Western Conference standings, Boozer knows his scrappy but injury-tagged team isn't given much of a shot to hold off Bryant and his playoff-tested crew in the second-round series, which starts with Game 1 on Sunday at Staples Center.

``We're underdogs again,'' Boozer said Saturday before flying to Los Angeles. ``We're undermanned again. I don't know I've ever been anything other than the underdog. I know it's not the easiest position to be in, but it's the position that we're in.''

Bryant didn't exactly spend the Lakers' 39-hour gap between playoff games studying up on fifth-seeded Utah after Los Angeles finally eliminated Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in six games. Boozer and Williams are more experienced than the Thunder's dynamic duo and more familiar with the Lakers, although they're on equally short rest after knocking off Denver on Friday night.

``No scouting report necessary for either team,'' Bryant said. ``We know their offense inside-out. They know our offense inside-out, as well as the defense. We've played each other so many times, including preseason. We're just extremely, extremely familiar with each other.''

These franchises have more in common than their geographically bizarre nicknames - which would actually make a whole lot more sense if they swapped.

The Lakers have met the Jazz in five previous postseasons dating to 1988. The winner reached the NBA finals each time, from Utah's Stockton-and-Malone powerhouses in the late 1990s to Bryant's last two Los Angeles clubs.

The Lakers are virtually unchanged from last year, with only Ron Artest added to the mix of last season's champions who routed Utah in five games in last spring's first round. The Jazz came back impressively from that disappointment, jumping into the conference title picture this spring behind a breakout season from Williams, a first-time All-Star.

``Any time you're playing the Lakers, it's a tough task,'' Williams said. ``But we do feel a lot more confident than we have in the past. We feel like we're a tougher team this year, mentally and physically. We finally answered a lot of the questions people have about this team.''

The Jazz's biggest changes have been forced by recent injuries, which could be the prevailing theme of the series' first two games at Staples Center before a three-day break as the series shifts to Utah.

Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko likely is out for at least the first two games while he recovers from the strained left calf that sidelined him late in the regular season. Center Mehmet Okur already is out for the postseason, while Williams also has a bruised elbow that could limit him in Game 1.

Utah still eliminated the fourth-seeded Nuggets with relentless effort from their roster stacked with overachieving role players around Williams and Boozer.

``It gives us a little bit of confidence,'' Boozer said. ``It gives us something to set our hat on a little bit. We've continued to improve even though we're missing Memo and we're missing A.K.''

Utah has excelled on the road in big games in recent years, winning a first-round playoff series without a homecourt advantage in three of the past four postseasons. Yet the Jazz have lost 14 straight games to the Lakers at Staples Center, including three playoff losses in each of the past two seasons.

Los Angeles won the regular-season series 3-1, and clearly has plenty of confidence against Utah coach Jerry Sloan's time-tested approach. The Lakers' height and size underneath would be difficult for the Jazz even if Okur was healthy.

``They try to take care of us early and put us in trouble,'' Sloan said. ``That's one of the things that's hurt us as much as anything - how we get started.''

Yet the Thunder didn't allow Los Angeles' twin 7-footers Gasol and Andrew Bynum to slow them down, stretching the Lakers until their last-second victory in Game 6 on Gasol's cerebral tip-in of Bryant's miss. Even the Lakers agree they feel more vulnerable this season, prone to even more inconsistent play than the 2009 club described by Bryant as ``bipolar.''

Bynum also might be limited in the series after aggravating a tiny tear in the meniscus in his right knee during the series clincher in Oklahoma City. If he can't play much, Lakers coach Phil Jackson likely would use Lamar Odom in a smaller lineup that could be more to Utah's liking.

Jackson was forced to deploy Bryant to slow down the speedy Westbrook at times in the first round. Williams also is probably too fast for starting point guard Derek Fisher - another challenge the Lakers must address to succeed.

``It's great for us to get through it and understand that we're not the best thing since sliced bread,'' Artest said. ``We actually have to work. We can't fall asleep, and we did that tonight. Every time we fall asleep, we get punished.''

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-Jazz Scouting Report

As teams go through the playoffs there are always obstacles that must be overcome. We face one Sunday at Staples Center (as does the Utah Jazz). Finishing one series and returning home late on a Friday night (actually landing at LAX at 2:00 am Saturday morning) and beginning the next series at 12:30 on Sunday presents a different set of challenges. Because of the battles we have gone through in recent years we should be able to handle the mental aspect of this situation. From an “X & O’s” perspective there probably aren’t any teams more familiar with one another than the Jazz and the Lakers. We have played each other so often in recent years that there will be very few surprises in this series. Much of it will simply come down to effort and energy.

Regster to Lakers Courtside Connection to read more.

Lakers-Jazz Injury Report

Ron Artest (sprained left thumb) will play.
Shannon Brown (sprained right thumb) will play.
Kobe Bryant (arthritis, right index finger) will play.
Andrew Bynum (left Achilles strain, hyper-extended right knee) is day-to-day.
DJ Mbenga (retinal surgery, left eye) is probable.
Sasha Vujacic (severe sprain, left ankle) is out.
Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) is probable.

Andrei Kirilenko (strained left calf muscle) is doubtful.
Mehmet Okur
(ruptured left Achilles’) is out.
Deron Williams
(bruised left elbow) is game time decision.

Lakers-Jazz Game Notes

The Lakers won their season series with the Jazz 3-1 and have now taken each of the last four season series from Utah: 2006-07 (2-1), 2007-08 (3-1), 2008-09 (2-1), 2009- 10 (3-1). The Jazz and Lakers have met 150 times in the regular season (96-54) and 131 times since the Jazz moved to Utah (83-49). In the postseason, the Lakers and Jazz have met five times (1988, 1997, 1998, 2008, 2009) with the Lakers advancing on three occasions: 1988 Western Conference Semifinals (4-3), 2008 Western Conference Semifinals (4-2) and 2009 Western Conference First Round 4-1. The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 regular season games with the Jazz. The Lakers are 18- 3 all-time against the Jazz at STAPLES Center during the regular season and have won their last eight straight (14 in a row including the playoffs). In Utah, the Lakers have gone 4-6 in their last 10 regular season games at EnergySolutions Arena. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 26-12 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 46 games against the Jazz (38 starts), Bryant is averaging 26.1 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.

The Lakers and Jazz have met five times in the postseason (1988, 1997, 1998, 2008, 2009) with Los Angeles advancing on three occasions (1988 Western Conference Semifinals 4-3, 2008 Western Conference Semifinals 4-2, 2009 Western Conference First Round 4-1). Utah eliminated Los Angeles from the playoffs in two consecutive postseasons: 1997 Western Conference Semifinals (1-4) and 1998 Western Conference Finals (0-4). In all five postseason meetings between the Jazz and Lakers, the team with home court advantage has won the series. Overall, the Lakers are now 13-14 against the Jazz in postseason games, going 10-4 at home but just 3-10 in Utah.

The Lakers are 69-29 in best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (63-28 Los Angeles, 6-1 Minneapolis)

The Lakers are 64-34 in Game 1 of best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (60-31 Los Angeles, 4-3 Minneapolis)

When winning Game 1 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 57-7. (53-7 Los Angeles, 4-0 Minneapolis)

When losing Game 1 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 12-22 all-time. (10-21 Los Angeles, 2-1 Minneapolis)

The Lakers are 57-41 in Game 2 of best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (54-37 Los Angles, 3-4 Minneapolis)

When winning both Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 40-1 all-time. (39-1 Los Angeles, 1-0 Minneapolis)

When splitting Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 27-12 all-time. (22-12 Los Angeles, 5-0 Minneapolis)

When losing Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 2-16 all-time. (2-15 Los Angeles, 0-1 Minneapolis)

When Phil Jackson wins Game 1 of any playoff series, best-of-five or best-of-seven, his teams are 45-0, having gone 24-0 with Chicago and 21-0 with the Lakers.

When holding a series lead of any kind, Phil Jackson, currently in his 19th postseason as a head coach, is 52-1 all-time. Overall, Jackson owns a 213-93 postseason record, with his 213 victories being the most of any NBA coach in playoff history. Additionally, Jackson’s 306 career playoff games are also the most of any coach in playoff history, while his .696 postseason win percentage is tops among all coaches as well. Currently at 102 playoff victories with the Lakers, Jackson is TIED with Pat Riley (102) for most playoff victories in Lakers franchise history. With the Lakers 2009 NBA Championship, Jackson (10 as head coach, 2 as player) surpassed legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach for most championships won by a head coach while also passing fellow Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell (11) for most championships won by a player/coach. Should the Lakers reach the NBA Finals this season, it will be the 13th time he has taken a team to the final round, tying him with NHL coaching legend Scotty Bowman for most trips to the finals in a major pro sport played in the U.S.

Since moving to STAPLES Center prior to the 1999-2000 season, the Lakers have won 84% of their postseason home games (66-13). The Lakers have topped the century mark in over half of their postseason home games at STAPLES Center (45-of-79) while the opposition has been held under 100 points in all but 21 of those games. In their last 42 home playoff games, the Lakers are 36-6.

With 32 points in the Lakers 95-94 series clinching victory at Oklahoma City on April 30, Kobe Bryant improved his scoring average for the First Round to 23.5 points per game. In doing so, Bryant recorded his 25th consecutive playoff series averaging 20+ points per game, the longest such streak in Lakers history. Bryant last failed to average 20 points in a playoff series in the 200 Finals vs. Indiana (15.6 points per game).

With the Lakers defeating the Thunder in the First Round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs, Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant added another series victory to their playoff resume. Among all active players, only Shaquille O’Neal (32) has won more postseason series than Fisher (30) and Bryant (28).

Since the NBA went to the Conference format prior to the 1970-71 season, the Lakers have now held the #1 seed 16 times (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982-90, 2000, 2008, 2009, 2010), winning the West 12 times and the NBA Championship on eight occasions. This is the 11th time the Lakers have owned the #1 seed since the current format featuring 16 teams was instituted prior to the 1984 NBA Playoffs. With their victory over the Thunder in the 2010 Western Conference First Round, the Lakers improved to 11-0 in the First Round as the Conference #1 seed since 1984. Overall, as the Conference #1 seed, the Lakers are now 179-85 (.678) all-time in the playoffs.


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