- GAME HIGHLIGHTS
- GAME RECAP
- GAME PREVIEW
- SCOUTING REPORT
- INJURY REPORT
- GAME NOTES
Bryant scores 35 as Lakers beat Jazz 111-110
By DOUG ALDEN
SALT LAKE CITY(AP) Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher hit back-to-back 3-pointers during an 8-2 run in the final minute and the Lakers held on for a 111-110 victory over the Utah Jazz that put Los Angeles on the verge of clinching the Western Conference playoff series.
The Jazz had two chances to win it in the final 4 seconds, but Deron Williams missed from the top of the key and Wesley Matthews' tip just before the buzzer bounced off the rim.
Bryant finished with 35 points and Fisher scored 20 for the Lakers, who can close out the four-game sweep with a win Monday night in Game 4. Pau Gasol added 14 points and 17 rebounds for Los Angeles.
Williams scored 28 and Kyle Korver added a career playoff-high 23 points for the Jazz.
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
6 Second half turnovers for the Jazz, double what they’d had in each of their first two games. A key here was L.A.’s being able to play defense in front of their bench in the second half, a prerogative afforded the visiting team (being able to choose). None was bigger than Carlos Boozer’s unforced error with 2:35 to go in the fourth and Utah up two, as his fumble out of bounds resulted in Lamar Odom’s three at the other end.
13 Three-pointers made by the Lakers, establishing a new playoff high. They’d canned 12 triples in Game 6 against Oklahoma City in Round 1, but made only six combined in Games 1 and 2 against Utah.
21 Lead changes in the second half after just one in the first half, which came after the first possession.
32 Paint points for the Lakers, who instead got 39 points from three-pointers. Andrew Bynum missed the only shot he took, while Odom was only 2-for-6. Pau Gasol shot just 12 times, making six for 14 points.
35 Points for Kobe Bryant on 13-of-24 shooting to lead the Lakers, his fourth straight playoff game with at least 30 points. After the game, Bryant confirmed that his legs felt as good as they looked. He added a team-high seven assists.
Mike Trudell, Lakers.com
Lakers’ Coach Phil Jackson on the game:
“That was quite a game. It was fun for fans to watch, it wasn’t great for coaches to watch. Unexpected
guys stepped up tonight, guys we know can deliver. Artest and Fish, both of them played very big
tonight. They took away our post game, double teaming and rotating. We didn’t start out very well, but I
thought we gained traction in the second quarter and continued through the rest of the game to play a
much better game.”
On Ron Artest
“You heard me before the game, I said we know he can make them. Three-point shooters run hot and
cold and tonight he was pretty hot. I thought he was very effective. All in all I thought he made really
good decisions tonight. Situations in which the shots were there the rotation was there and it was the
right thing to do.”
On Derek Fisher
“He played a great game tonight. He hit some shots and made some defensive plays I thought were
very good out there on the floor. Just his tenacity is a factor for us.”
Lakers’ Kobe Bryant on the game:
“We had good looks and good opportunities and our shots fell at the right time. The threes we got
tonight were threes with our feet set. If anything, you pick up your intensity because we know how
difficult close out games are, let alone in this building. It was fun basketball to watch, guys were coming
down making big shot after big shot. We don’t have a time table set, we just manage it from game to
On the bad pass:
“These things happen you just have to let it go and move onto the next one. I thought it was important
for Ron to take Deron on that last possession so he could redeem himself for the pass.”
On winning Game Three:
“We played hard and understood the importance of this game. We learned from our past year’s
“It’s a big factor for us. They are young but extremely well coached. They execute their system
extremely well. When you’re playing against them you have to play extremely disciplined and show a
lot of poise.”
Lakers’ Andrew Bynum on whether the off night was due to his knee:
“It just (wasn’t) my night. I got my share of touches, I just didn’t do anything with it.”
On if the Jazz did anything different defensively to disrupt his game:
“No, same stuff. I just was passing.”
Lakers’ Pau Gasol on playing in a great game:
“It was fun. Good competition. Both teams were hot at the end, making shots and making plays and
not wanting to lose and fighting for the win. It’s what high level basketball is about.”
On struggles of the L.A. bigs:
“We found a way to win the ball game. No matter what, with the different guys that can really be
productive, we just have to find a way to win the game. I think we all did a good job hustling,
defending, and making plays.”
Lakers’ Ron Artest on the game:
“Just play basketball and move on to the next day. Win or lose you have to move on. Kobe and the
fellas continue to give me confidence to just move on and play the next game. I have been trying to
play hard the whole playoffs. Win or lose, move on to the next day.”
On the back and forth with Kyle Korver:
“I don’t like going back and forth. I have to pay attention more the next game. I guess it was fun for the
fans, but we don’t like to make it fun for their fans.”
Utah Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan on the game:
“Our guys played as hard as we could play, we just came up short. We made efforts to try and help our
big people keep the ball out of the middle, and we gave them a lot of three point shots. We felt like that
was the chance to stay in the ballgame, that right there probably got us.”
On the last shot that Deron Williams took:
“Well, he had the ball in his hands. And you don’t get everything you want. You’d like to have a lay-up
coming at you, but he got the shot off, we got a tip on it—ball goes in the basket in a different ballgame.
I thought the effort to try to get there and do that was terrific; and he’s got [Derek] Fisher guarding him.
He’s a very good defender, and I thought that was a decent shot.”
On Kyle Korver’s play:
“The guy can make open shots, if we can get the screens and stuff to help him. He uses the offense
very well, and he had it going right from the beginning tonight.”
Utah Jazz Deron Williams on the game’s final plays:
“It’s a tough loss, period. Again, we were in the game, but things just keep going the other way. I
wanted to get (the three-point shot) a little deeper, but I saw Ron (Artest) stumble a bit so I felt if I took
another dribble or two he might have recovered. I had a wide open look and just missed it.”
On the team’s adjustments coming in:
“Today in shoot-around we went over defending the post. We wanted to make them beat us from the
perimeter, Fisher hadn’t shot well, Artest hadn’t shot well in the series, so we felt like we could live with
outside shots, but that came back and kind of bit us. Those guys stepped up and made shots, big
On ignoring the history of no team coming back from 0-3:
“We just need to take it one game at a time, that’s all we can do. I said this was a must-win game for
us because we know how tough it would be to beat this team four times, but we are not going to just
give up on the season.”
Utah Jazz Carlos Boozer on being down 0-3:
“We are going to give it everything we’ve got every time we step out there, just like we always
do. We’ve played hard this whole playoffs and we won’t not play hard on Monday. We played
well enough to win tonight, we just didn’t. We’re going do what we do better and hopefully we
get the bounce this time to win the game.”
Utah Jazz CJ Miles
on the game:
“We had a chance. We missed a couple of shots. They made their free throws and we missed
the last couple. “There is a lot more on it now. It’s definitely win or go home now. We don’t
want any doubts left over, that we gave up. That’s the reason we are here, nobody backs
down. We are a bunch of guys who want to win games.”
On the last shot
“With the guys we have out there, they are on the floor for a reason. He had a good look, he
just missed one. It was a good look. He is supposed to take that shot. If he doesn’t everyone is
asking why not. It was a good shot.”
Utah Jazz Wesley Matthews on being down 0-3:
“We can’t win the series by winning on Monday. We have to get better and rest up. Lay it on
the line again. Nobody’s ever done it, but somebody has to be first. Why not try?”
On Kyle Korver:
“He was huge. Kyle hit big shot after big shot. That’s what we needed. I just wish I could have
helped out a little more.”
Utah Jazz Kyle Korver on his hot shooting night:
“I got a couple of good looks early and found a little rhythm. The more shots you hit, the
tougher shots you’re looking to take. They kind of fell asleep a couple of times and I got a
couple of threes off it. It just wasn’t enough.”
On the inbounds’ steal with 4.4 second left in the game
“I saw (Ron) Artest looking at (Pau) Gasol. He saw an advantage in height on me obviously. I
figured the ball was going to go to him and tried to body him up. AK was all over Artest and I
was able to slide in front. It came right to me, but that’s ball pressure. That’s what happens
sometimes at the end of the game.”
On Andrei Kirilenko
“He brought a lot. Obviously, he gives us a huge lift. He played really well. He had a lot of
energy. Right away he had like four rebounds and a blocked shot. He can be a really big part
of the series.”
On the Lakers
“They have a great inside and outside game. You take away one and they go to the other.
Kobe made some big threes. He has shot the ball well the whole series. I would say their
inside game is better than their outside game. That’s what makes them so tough and that’s
what we tried to focus on.”
By DOUG ALDEN, AP Sports Writer
SALT LAKE CITY—Familiarity is little help to the Utah Jazz against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Jazz and Lakers are meeting for the third straight year in the Western Conference playoffs. And just like the previous two, the Lakers lead 2-0 as the series comes to Utah for two games that the Jazz know are crucial to any aspirations they have of knocking out the defending NBA champions.
“We’re down 0-2. We never want to be in that position,” Utah point guard Deron Williams said Friday. “We’re ready to get back out there and play.”
Both teams have had a few days to recover after the Lakers’ 111-103 win on Tuesday. Game 3 is Saturday night in Salt Lake City, where the Jazz seem to hold a home-court advantage against every team other than the Lakers. Los Angeles hasn’t gone winless in Utah since the 2004-05 season and added a playoff win here each of the last two years.
Of the few promising signs for the Jazz, one is they played better in Los Angeles in the first two games than they had in the last two playoff series. The Lakers opened the 2008 second-round series with two double-digit victories and did it again last year against Utah in the first round.
The Jazz actually held a lead late in the fourth quarter of Game 1 on Sunday before Kobe Bryant rallied the Lakers to the win. Utah forced 20 turnovers in Game 2 and got within four points in the final minutes despite playing without center Mehmet Okur (ruptured Achilles’ tendon) and forward Andrei Kirilenko (strained calf). For Utah on the road against the Lakers, that’s progress.
“We’re typically a different team at home. We had a chance to win those games in LA. We let opportunities slip away,” said Williams, named all-NBA second team on Thursday. “Now we’re back at home, looking to get these two games.”
Game 4 is Monday in Utah. Of the three possible scenarios the Jazz could face next week, only one would be good for Utah—win both games in Salt Lake City and even the series. If it’s a split, the Jazz will be facing elimination Wednesday in Los Angeles, where they have lost 16 straight counting regular season and playoff games. And if the Lakers win both, Utah’s season is over.
“We understand how hard they’re going to play in (Game 3), because they know if we win it, we can basically put away the series,” Lakers center Pau Gasol said.
Kirilenko said he has recovered from the left calf strain that has kept him out since March 26 and will play Saturday. That gives the Jazz at least a little help inside, where Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom towered over Utah in the first two games.
The Lakers have pulled down 101 rebounds and blocked 20 shots already in the series. Los Angeles has forced Utah outside and the Jazz’s shooting sputtered at just 42 percent in the first two games.
Utah coach Jerry Sloan was asked before practice Friday how he planned to counter the Lakers’ size advantage and Sloan was still considering his options.
“We could step on their toes. Maybe that would help,” Sloan said with a grin and chuckle. “Against this team you don’t always get inside. I don’t care who we’ve got to put inside, they’re still longer than we are and it makes it a situation where you’re playing right into their hands most of the time. We have to make some shots out on the floor.”
The Lakers practiced in Los Angeles on Friday before heading to Utah. While Game 3 is much more critical for the Jazz, the Lakers would like to avoid a repeat of the first round, when they led Oklahoma City 2-0 before the Thunder tied it with two wins at home. The Lakers went on to win in six games, but it was a longer series than it had to be.
Los Angeles is already halfway to clinching a third straight trip to the Western Conference finals and doesn’t want to risk letting the Jazz back in the series.
Utah’s offense hasn’t changed for decades, but when the Jazz are running it well and sharing the ball as they did in a 4-2 win over Denver in the opening round, it’s difficult to stop even when you know exactly what’s coming.
“Defensively, we pretty much know this team. I’m not saying they can’t throw us a curveball, but we know each other,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “This has been one of the best home-court teams in the NBA for years.”
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
There are many parts that go into the formulation of a defensive game plan. Coaches must factor in the philosophy of the opponent, the specific offensive play sets, and the individual skills of the players involved. Coaches then decide on an explicit defensive tactic to minimize the impact of the opponent’s offense. By the time the plan is put in place the coaches and scouts have spent many man hours analyzing and implementing the plan. It is very frustrating then when a few minutes into the game a defensive lapse occurs like happened in Game 2. We have different defensive rules based on the personnel in the game at the time. If a big man is a threat to shoot then we will play one style of defense on him in screen and rolls. Fesenko is not a shooter so we play him a little differently. Or should I say we wanted to play him in a different fashion. In this clip from early in Game 2 Fesenko is able to roll after setting a screen and catch and dunk the ball. In playoff basketball when a single possession can swing the momentum of a game that type of mental mistake can really hurt. We must do a better job of executing the game plan and recognizing the personnel we are facing.
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 / slight tear, lateral meniscus, 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) game time decision.
Mehmet Okur (ruptured left Achilles’) is out.
Lakers-Jazz Game Notes
SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
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 nine straight (16 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.
LAKERS IN BEST-OF-SEVEN SERIES (Includes NBA Finals series)
- The Lakers are 69-29 in best-of-seven series (any round) all-time.
(63-28 Los Angeles, 6-1 Minneapolis)
- The Lakers are now 65-34 in Game 1 of best-of-seven series (any round) all-time.
(61-31 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)
- The Lakers are 58-41 in Game 2 of best-of-seven series (any round) all-time.
(55-37 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)
- The Lakers are 58-40 in Game 3 of a best-of-seven series (any round) all-time.
(53-38 Los Angeles, 5-2 Minneapolis)
- The Lakers have held a 3-0 lead 20 times in franchise history and have gone 20-0 in those series.
(19-0 Los Angeles, 1-0 Minneapolis)
- When leading 3-0, the Lakers have won the series 12 times in four games, 6 times in five games and twice in six games.
- When leading 3-0, the Lakers have won the series in four games 4 straight times and have done so in 7 of their last 8 opportunities overall.
- The Lakers are 47-51 in Game 4 of a best-of-seven series (any round) all-time.
(44-47 Los Angeles, 3-4 Minneapolis)
- When winning Game 4 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 39-4 all-time.
- When leading 3-1 in a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 33-1.
(30-1 Los Angeles, 3-0 Minneapolis)
CRASHING THE BOARDS
In the first two games of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Jazz, the Lakers have had three players record 10+ rebounds in each contest. The last team to have three players average 10+ rebounds through the first two games of any playoff series was the 1985 Portland Trail Blazers, who did so in their First Round series with Dallas. The last Lakers team to have three players average 10+ rebounds through the first two games of a playoff series was the 1973 squad, who did so in their Conference Semifinals series with Chicago. Prior to this series, three Lakers last recorded 10+ rebounds in a single game 4/28/06 in Game 3 of the 2006 Western Conference First Round vs. Phoenix. This series, in Game 1, Pau Gasol (12), Lamar Odom (12) and Andrew Bynum (10) all grabbed 10+ rebounds as the Lakers outrebounded the Jazz 43-38. In Game 2, Gasol (15), Odom (15) and Bynum (14) again all pulled down 10+ rebounds as the Lakers increased their rebounding margin against the Jazz to a 58-40 advantage.
BRYANT NAMED TO ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM; 5th STRAIGHT FIRST TEAM SELECTION, 8th FIRST TEAM NOD IN LAST 9 YEARS
On May 6th, the NBA announced its 2009-10 All-NBA Teams with Kobe Bryant earning First Team honors for the 5th consecutive season and 8th time in the last nine years. Among all active players, only Tim Duncan (9) has earned more First Team selections than Bryant. Third in voting behind unanimous selections LeBron James (122 First Team votes, 610 points) and Dwight Howard (122 First Team votes, 610 points), Bryant (119 First Team votes, 604 points) ranked 4th in the NBA in scoring (27.0 points) while averaging 5.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. Helping lead the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference for the third consecutive season (57- 25) and the franchise’s 21st Pacific Division title, Bryant has now been named to 12 All-NBA Teams overall (8 First, 2 Second, 2 Third). Joining Bryant, Howard and James on the First Team are Miami’s Dwyane Wade and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant.
PAU GASOL SELECTED TO ALL-NBA TEAM FOR 2ND STRAIGHT SEASON & 2ND TIME IN CAREER; EARNS THIRD TEAM HONORS
On May 6th, the NBA announced its 2009-10 All-NBA Teams with Pau Gasol earning All-NBA honors for the second consecutive season and second time in his career. Named to the All-NBA Third Team, Gasol finished with the 14th most points (94) in balloting. Ranking among league leaders in field goal % (11th/.536), blocks (8th/1.74) and minutes (21st/37.0) despite missing 17 games due to injury, Gasol was named a 2010 Western Conference All-Star for the third time in his career, earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors (3/22/10) Awards in February and was named European Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Gasol is now one of 12 Lakers to earn multiple All-NBA honors in franchise history (Abdul-Jabbar, Baylor, Bryant, Johnson, Martin, Mikan, Mikkelsen, Pollard, O’Neal, West, Worthy).
THE CONFERENCE ONE SEED
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 181-85 (.680) all-time in the playoffs.
BRYANT NAMED TO ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM FOR 5th STRAIGHT SEASON
On May 5th, the NBA announced its 2009-10 All-Defensive Teams with Kobe Bryant earning First Team honors for the 5th consecutive season and 8th time overall, finishing fourth in voting with 34 points and 13 first-place votes. Bryant has now made 10 All-Defensive Teams overall, earning Second Team honors in 2000-01 and 2001- 02. Leading vote-getter and 2009-10 Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard (57 points), Rajon Rondo (50 points), LeBron James (45 points) and Gerald Wallace (30 points) all joined Bryant on this year’s All-Defensive First Team. The 30 NBA-coach voting panel selected All-Defensive First and Second Teams by position while not voting for their own players. Two points were awarded for a First Team vote, one point for a Second Team vote. Bryant is now one of seven players to be named to at least eight All-Defensive First Teams: (9) Michael Jordan, Gary Payton; (8) Kevin Garnett, Bobby Jones, Scottie Pippen, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant.
Second Team honors went to Tim Duncan (21), Dwyane Wade (20), Josh Smith (20), Anderson Varejao (15) and Thabo Sefolosha (14). Ron Artest, who was named to the Second Team last season, received 11 points including three First Team votes while Lamar Odom (2 points) and Pau Gasol (1 point) were also among the 42 players not named to an All-Defensive Team to earn consideration.
JACKSON-LED TEAMS UNDEFEATED AFTER WINNING GAME 1 & A TOUGH OUT WHEN LEADING A PLAYOFF SERIES
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. Also, when holding a series lead of any kind, Phil Jackson, currently in his 19th postseason as a head coach, is 52-1 all-time.
STAPLES CENTER ADVANTAGE
Since moving to STAPLES Center prior to the 1999-2000 season, the Lakers have won 84% of their postseason home games (68-13). The Lakers have topped the century mark in over half of their postseason home games at STAPLES Center (47-of-81) while the opposition has been held under 100 points in all but 22 of those games. In their last 44 home playoff games, the Lakers are 38-6 and have won 8 straight dating back to the 2009 Western Conference Finals.