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News » Jazz fall flat against L.A.


Jazz fall flat against L.A.


Jazz fall flat against L.A. Los Angeles - ? Even in their 30th-anniversary green throwback uniforms, the Jazz sported a look that was all too familiar Wednesday night on the road against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

The Jazz couldn't respond after the Lakers erased their seven-point lead midway through the third quarter, and missed their first dozen shots in a frozen fourth quarter, falling 101-77 at Staples Center.

Only a late C.J. Miles layup saved the Jazz from setting a franchise record with only six points in the fourth quarter. The Jazz scored 14 points total in the final 18-plus minutes of the game.

Kobe Bryant finished with 27 points, eight assists and six rebounds to lead the Lakers while Jordan Farmar added 11 points in 21 minutes off the bench. Deron Williams had 17 points and eight assists for the Jazz .

The Lakers stretched their winning streak to 10 games while beating the Jazz for a 13th consecutive time at Staples Center, including playoff victories as they twice ended Utah's season in 2008 and 2009.

The Jazz went more than 10 minutes without a field goal between a Miles layup with 2:40 left in the third quarter and a Deron Williams jumper with 4:20 left in the fourth. The Jazz shot a season-worst 33.7 percent for the game.

If Wednesday's game was a measuring stick, the Jazz came up woefully short, even as they entered the fourth quarter trailing just 73-71.

With Bryant and Williams on the bench to start the fourth quarter, the Lakers pushed their lead to 80-73 with a 7-2 run. The Jazz went 0-for-5, with all variety of runners and layups by Eric Maynor, Miles and Wesley Matthews rimming out.

Sasha Vujacic, who came into the game shooting 32.6 percent for the season, buried a three-pointer to give the Lakers a seven-point lead.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan called timeout and brought Williams back from the bench.

Yet the Jazz couldn't find any answers. Jordan Farmar drove for a layup as part of a three-point play and blocked Williams as the Lakers forced a 24-second violation. Brewer had a jumper dance in and out for the 10th straight miss in the fourth.

After Miles threw away a pass out of a trap, the Lakers pushed ahead, with Lamar Odom throwing a between-the-legs pass to Ron Artest, who delivered a touch pass to Farmar for a layup, giving the Lakers a 94-73 lead. As they proved at the start of the third quarter, the Jazz's first half was anything but a fluke. They led 63-56 with 6:18 left after Mehmet Okur got open for a backdoor lob and Williams found Brewer for a layup after stripping Bryant.

The Lakers called timeout and opted to bring Odom and Shannon Brown off the bench, with Brown assigned to slow Williams. It breathed new life into the Lakers, who reeled off an 11-2 run to take the lead.

Bryant hit a tough jumper on Brewer and Artest got to the foul line after backing down Miles. After Brewer missed around the basket with no foul called -- much to Sloan's furor -- Artest dunked at the other end. The Lakers took a 67-65 lead as Bryant hit Odom for a layup and went into the fourth quarter ahead 73-71. Bryant had 13 points and three assists in the third, driving and kicking out to Farmar for a three-pointer with 3.4 seconds left.

rsiler@sltrib.com Storylines

IN SHORT ? The Lakers erase Utah's seven-point lead midway through the third quarter, and the Jazz score just six points in the fourth quarter to lose again at L.A.

KEY STAT ? Deron Williams scores Utah's first points in the fourth quarter with 4:33 remaining. Online

Given the Jazz's inability to compete with the Spurs in recent years, the fact they have already clinched the season series with San Antonio is mind-boggling.

http://blogs.sltrib.com/Jazz

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 11, 2009

 

 
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