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News » Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2009-12-08

Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2009-12-08

Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2009-12-08Deron Williams was taken aback when talk after the Jazz's victory Monday over San Antonio turned to Wednesday's game against the Lakers in Los Angeles.

The Jazz have dropped 12 consecutive games to the Lakers at Staples Center, including three apiece in the 2008 and 2009 playoffs. What surprised Williams was to learn that the Jazz actually had beaten the Lakers on the road during his career.

That was Jan. 1, 2006, a 98-94 victory. Otherwise, the Jazz have known nothing but misery playing the Lakers on the Hollywood stage. They have gone 1-12 since Williams came to Utah.

However, the Jazz have broken one long road losing skid this season -- a decade-long, 20-game streak against the Spurs in San Antonio -- and now will look to do so against the team that has eliminated them from the playoffs the last two seasons.

The Jazz are coming off an impressive 104-101 victory Monday over the Spurs, whom they have beaten three times this season. They will face the defending champion Lakers twice in four days, with a home game against Orlando in between.

As usual, the Jazz's challenge will be slowing Kobe Bryant. Ronnie Brewer will likely get first crack at guarding Bryant along with undrafted rookie Wesley Matthews, who has won praise from coach Jerry Sloan for his defense.

Matthews has scored at the top of the Jazz's new defensive grading system all season. The Jazz have used Andrei Kirilenko in the past on Bryant, but Kirilenko's availability is uncertain because of a back injury.

JAZZ 104, SPURS 101: The Jazz gave back a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter but held on in the final seconds to beat San Antonio for the third time in six weeks. It was more survival than anything as Tony Parker missed an open jumper and Matt Bonner missed a tough runner in the last 20 seconds. Carlos Boozer also missed two free throws for the Jazz to leave the Spurs an opening.

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Added: December 8, 2009


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