Kobe Bryant vs. Jazz - 11.26.10

Kobe drives to basket past Deron Williams.

Things were looking in good Utah. Kobe Bryant had scored 14 points over a two-minute stretch in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers had a five-point lead with just over two-minutes left. That’s where the fun ended in Salt Lake City on Friday night.

The Utah Jazz scored the last 11 points of the game, withstanding Bryant’s late scoring barrage, and defeated the Lakers 102-96.  They also trailed the world champs by 19 points early in the game, but erased that deficit to take a 75-72 lead after three quarters.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 31 points, playing just under 34 minutes.  Pau Gasol scored 21 and grabbed 11 rebounds, bouncing back from a sub-par game against Chicago on Tuesday.  Lamar Odom had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

It looked like the game would be a laugher early, as the Lakers led 33-17 after one quarter, and still held a double-digit lead midway through the second.  That’s when the Jazz’ bench, led by Ronnie Price, came in and sparked a rally that got them back in the game before halftime. 

After the break, the game was a dogfight, as the lead changed hand several times, with no team leading by more than five points until the final score. The play of the game turned out to be Bryant losing the ball out front, and Raja Bell scoring an uncontested layup to put the Jazz up 98-96. Ron Artest then missed a wide-open three-pointer, and the Jazz made all their free throws down the stretch for the win.

Deron Williams led the Jazz with 29 points (10-14 from the field), and 12 assists.   Al Jefferson, who hadn’t played on a team that had beaten the Lakers since 2005, scored 20 points, and grabbed eight rebounds.  Paul Milsap had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Jazz, who moved to 12-5 on the season.

It was the second straight poor-shooting game for the Lakers, as they managed to hit just 41.8% from the field, and just 4-15 (26.7%) from the three-point line.  In fact, Steve Blake and Derek Fisher alone combined to shoot 0-6 from beyond the arc.  It was also the Lakers’ second straight game under 100 points, the first time that’s happened all year.

The loss dropped the Lakers to 13-3, and left them still 1/2 game behind San Antonio for first place in the Western Conference.  Their next game is home on Sunday against the Indiana Pacers, who earlier this week knocked off the Miami Heat 93-77 in Miami.  The Lakers head out for a quick two-game road trip after Sunday’s game.

Link: Lakers @ Jazz Box Score