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Utah Jazz regain edge, punch out L.A. Lakers 96-87

Published February 6, 2012 6:21 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With the Jazz's first road test of the season just two days away and Utah dealing with everything from injuries to a lack of recent progress, forward C.J. Miles said his team had to stick together.

Guard Earl Watson was looking for an edge.

Coach Tyrone Corbin sought gutsy play and a fiery attack.

Everyone wanted something.

Everyone got it Saturday.

The Jazz turned an early fourth-quarter standstill against the Los Angeles Lakers into a late-game rout, punching through for a strong 96-87 win at EnergySolutions Arena before a crowd of 19,642.

Lakers-Jazz box score: http://bit.ly/A8kuZ3

Lakers (14-10) guard Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 26 points but never took flight. Los Angeles coach Mike Brown was ejected. Jazz (13-9) big men Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap combined for 34 points, 26 rebounds, six assists and four blocks. And everyone from Earl Watson and Josh Howard to Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter provided Utah with crucial late-game separation.

The latter four came off the bench, and the Jazz's reserves outscored Los Angeles 49-12. Watson played through a swollen and sprained right ankle — shrugging off an initial doubtful listing after a morning shootaround — to again spark Utah.

"Man, Earl Watson isn't even supposed to be playing right now, that's the crazy thing," Millsap said. "You know he's out there on one leg."

While The Bulldog barked, ESA rocked, watching the Jazz speed away on a thrilling 14-0 run that left the Lakers constantly backpedaling.

"It was just one play after another and it just led to another exciting play for us," Corbin said. "We talked about it before, man. This is going to have to be a group of guys that continue to work and respect each other and play together and support each other on both ends of the floor, and this is the kind of thing that'll happen for us."

While Jefferson and Millsap matched inside baskets with Los Angeles' Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, young Jazz bigs Favors and Kanter did the most game-changing damage. The duo only have a combined 39 years on the planet, but they played like seasoned veterans Saturday, teaming for 22 points on 11-of-18 shooting and 14 rebounds. It was their sharpest and most powerful outing as a unit, and they quickly received praise from Corbin after the confetti stopped falling and the Jazz's P.A. announcer shouted out "We beat L.A."

Kanter said Saturday captured why he dreamed about the NBA as a kid growing up and thinking big in Turkey.

"When Ty Corbin give me chance, I'm going to try and do my best," Kanter said. "When I play with Derrick, I feel so much comfortable on defense and offense, and he's helping me a lot."

He added: "Everything's in my dream. We just beat the Lakers. I come to the right team. Just play and have that experience - a lot is good."

Little was right for Los Angeles. The Lakers were a limited three-man show with Gasol, Bynum and Bryant scoring 81.6 percent of the team's points. Los Angeles was held to 38.7 percent (29 of 75) shooting from the floor and 28.6 percent (4 of 14) behind the 3-point line. In addition, the Lakers were outrebounded 50-42, dished out just 12 assists to Utah's 25, and Los Angeles only scored four fast-break points.

Showtime, it was not. And the only flash occurred with 8 minutes, 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter, when Brown went ballistic. He suddenly snapped, charging after referee Zach Zarba, drawing two technical fouls and immediately being ejected.

"I was trying to give our guys some juice," Brown said. "I got techs. I shouldn't have gotten two techs."

Two minutes and 17 seconds later, it was 83-68 Jazz. Utah looked young and passionate, later leaving Corbin to acknowledge his team was lifted up and kept aloft by a home crowd that ate up every second of Brown's meltdown.

While the Jazz soared, the Lakers appeared slow, old and weak, falling apart at the worst possible time.

"I put our guys in a deeper hole than we were already in, and that probably cost the game," Brown said. "I apologized to our guys. I take most responsibility for that. I shouldn't have done what I did, let me make that clear."

Utah soaked up every ounce of a win several players said the team clearly needed. Now, the Jazz have momentum. The road awaits. But the edge has returned.

"We have to have it. If we don't have it, we're just a good team that can be beat at any given time," Watson said. "If we have it, we're a team that can be great and we can beat great teams."


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In short

P Jazz snap 2-game losing streak, fight back to down the L.A. Lakers. Jazz 96, Lakers 87


L.A.L. Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

WrldPce 21:54 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 1 2

Gasol 36:18 9-20 6-7 6-16 4 1 24

Bynum 37:23 8-14 5-8 4-12 1 2 21

Fisher 29:26 1-6 0-0 0-2 2 3 2

Bryant 37:51 6-16 11-12 1-1 1 4 26

Murphy 17:27 0-3 0-0 0-2 0 1 0

Goudlck 18:34 1-5 2-2 0-1 1 2 4

Barnes 19:26 2-6 0-0 4-6 2 1 5

Morris 2:27 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2

Kapono 14:25 0-2 1-1 0-0 0 2 1

McRberts 4:49 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 240:00 29-75 25-30 16-42 12 17 87

Percentages: FG .387, FT .833. 3-Point Goals: 4-14, .286 (Bryant 3-6, Barnes 1-3, Fisher 0-1, Kapono 0-1, Murphy 0-1, Goudelock 0-2). Team Rebounds: 5. Team Turnovers: 14 (20 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Bynum 2, Gasol 2). Turnovers: 13 (Bryant 4, Gasol 3, Bynum 2, Goudelock, Kapono, McRoberts, World Peace). Steals: 3 (Bynum, Fisher, Kapono). Technical Fouls: Bryant, 0:54.9 first Coach Brown, 2, 8:35 fourth. Ejections: Coach Brown, 8:35 fourth.


Utah Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Haywrd 30:56 2-3 3-4 0-1 1 2 7

Millsap 25:56 7-12 2-2 6-13 4 4 16

Jeffrson 30:52 8-17 2-3 4-13 2 3 18

Harris 21:34 0-6 1-2 0-0 3 1 1

Bell 22:57 2-10 0-0 1-1 1 5 5

Howard 22:44 3-8 5-7 1-5 2 1 12

Watson 26:26 3-4 0-0 0-1 11 1 8

Favors 22:04 6-9 0-0 2-8 0 3 12

Kanter 17:08 5-9 0-0 3-6 0 2 10

Miles 19:23 3-9 1-2 1-2 1 1 7

Totals 240:00 39-87 14-20 18-50 25 23 96

Percentages: FG .448, FT .700. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (Watson 2-3, Howard 1-2, Bell 1-5, Harris 0-1, Hayward 0-1). Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 10 (5 PTS). Blocked Shots: 6 (Jefferson 2, Millsap 2, Favors, Miles). Turnovers: 10 (Millsap 3, Favors 2, Harris, Hayward, Howard, Kanter, Watson). Steals: 6 (Watson 2, Hayward, Howard, Kanter, Millsap). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 2:28 first Howard, 9:25 second.

L.A. Lakers 25 24 18 20 — 87

Utah 22 25 20 29 — 96

Attendance • 19,642. Time • 2:12.

Officials • Jason Phillips, Zach Zarba, James Williams.






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