10:58 Lamar gets the Lakers on the board with a driving dunk after a great pass by Kobe. Odom’s basket comes after consecutive Jazz layups, the first by Boozer and the second by Kirilenko. The STAPLES Center crowd is buzzing every time Kobe touches the ball, obviously amped up about the expected announcement that he’s won the MVP award.
8:20 Fisher delivers his second straight perfect pass to Pau in the lane, both resulting in uncontested layups. After the Jazz scored the first four points of the game, the Lakers have come roaring back with nine straight points. Gasol and Kobe are tied for the team lead in scoring with four a piece.
6:33 Turiaf checks into the game for the time today, replacing Gasol who just picked up his second personal foul.
5:40 Jackson calls timeout after the Jazz are in the middle of a mini 9-4 run of their own to tie the score at 13 with a little less than half of the first quarter remaining. Carlos Boozer has dominated L.A. in the point so far, tallying six points on three of four shooting to lead the Jazz.
5:24 Kobe makes an incredible, circus-like layup, weaving through the Jazz’ defense as if if nobody were there for his game-leading eighth point of the night.
3:11 One of the Lakers’ biggest X-factor’s in the First Round–Luke Walton just entered the game with the Lakers trailing 17-18 after two free throws from Kobe. Walton was third on the team in scoring in the Lakers’ four game sweep against the Nuggets. Against the Jazz though, he’ll have to go up against one of the league’s best defenders in Andrei Kirilenko.
1:27 The Lakers show off their superior passing skills, with Fisher throwing it to Ronny who hands it off to Lamar for a layup that pushes L.A.’s lead to three at 21-18 in what’s been a back and forth affair so far.
33.5 Farmar checks into the game after Kobe nails a nearly impossible four point play to put the Lakers up 25-22.
12:00 Gasol and Vujacic are into the game to open the second quarter.
11:00 Sasha shows that there’s a lot more to his game than excellent outside shooting, driving deep into the lane for a layup and one for his first three points of the game. The Lakers lead 28-24.
10:00 One minute later and Sasha’s up to his old tricks, connecting on a long-rang trey that ignites the STAPLES Center crowd and bumps the Lakers’ lead to seven. Two trips later and ad Sasha hits another three for his ninth point in under three minutes of play. More importantly, the Lakers’ lead is at a game-high eight points, 34-26.
8:29 Sloan just put Kirilenko, Boozer and Brewer back into the game, hoping to stop the Lakers’ run. Jackson counters by inserting Odom back into the lineup.
7:37 Kobe makes an electric crossover against Kirilenko, opening up the lane for a layup and one that increases the Lakers’ lead to 37-28. Bryant has a team-leading 18 points on an impressive five of seven from the field.
6:03 Fisher gets the ball stolen, but Vladi comes right back and steals Utah’s full court lob before throwing it a wide open Bryant. After contemplating taking a wide-open three, #24 throws a perfect pass to Gasol at the rim for a dunk that sends the crowd into an absolute frenzy. With the slam, the Lakers’ lead is up to a game high 13 points at 41-28.
4:50 Vladi runs through the middle of the lane like he’s on a mission, catching the pass on the fly and throwing down a towering dunk for a 43-32 lead. The make is Radmanovic’s first of the game in 11 minutes of play.
3:22 After going scoreless up until now, Fisher is finally becoming a factor on offense, drilling an outside jumper from just inside the three point line on the team’s previous possession and then throwing up a running floater for his fourth point of the game.
2:14 Turiaf replaces Gasol in the Lakers’ lineup.
23.0 Farmar replaces Fisher with the Lakers leading 52-38.
The Lakers played exceptional defense in the first half, holding the Jazz to just 41 points on 40% shooting while scoring 54. Kobe led both teams with 24 points (6-8 shooting from the field, 11-11 from the line) followed by nine from Vujacic who scored all of his points in a brief second quarter spurt. As a team, L.A. had an impressive nine steals, with Fisher snatching four steals just by himself. Okur had nine points to lead Utah in scoring, followed by eight from Kirilenko.
10:20 Ramanovic puts the Lakers on the board in the second half, nailing his first three of the game after the Jazz had cut the deficit to 11. Vladi’s seven points on the night are third best on the team behind Bryant and Vujacic.
9:24 Kobe delivers a great pass through the Jazz’ defense to find a wide open Odom who takes it in strong for a one-handed dunk that gives the Lakers a 14 point lead nearly three minutes into the third quarter. Lamar’s had a quiet so far, scoring only eight points to go along with two rebounds and three assists.
8:02: Standing ovation for the Lakers after a three by Radmanovic and a layup by Gasol has increased the Lakers’ lead to a game-high 17 points at 66-49 going into the Jazz timeout.
3:23 Jackson’s up off the bench and the STAPLES Center fans are getting antsy after the Jazz have cut the Lakers’ lead to just nine points at 69-60. After a monster first half, Kobe’s been quiet in the quarter, scoring only four points so far. Meanwhile, Okur and Boozer in particular have come out strong in the third quarter, with the pair tallying 17 and 15 points respectively.
2:12 The Lakers get a much-needed two on a layup by Gasol on a great pass from Bryant. Before the make, the Jazz had crawled back to within seven of L.A. at 71-64.
1:12 Walton and Turiad check into the game with Kobe at the line trying to extend the Lakers’ seven point advantage.
43.5 Sasha comes into the game, giving Kobe a little rest going into the fourth and final quarter.
0.00 Lamar and 18,997 angry fans are furious after a non-call at the third quarter buzzer on his layup attempt sent him sprawling to the ground. On the previous play, Lamar slammed home his own miss to give the Lakers a temporary 10 point lead heading into the fourth quarter before Williams nailed a three.
11:03 Odom delivers an outstanding pass to a wide-open Turiaf who hammers it home with authority to reclaim a nine point lead for the Lakers, 81-72. The dunk is Ronny’s first of the night in 15 minutes of play.
8:46 The Lakers are letting the officials get in their heads and rightfully so after Gasol was called for a foul on his offensive rebound attempt. Gasol has had a quiet night by his standards, scoring only 10 points to go along with eight rebounds. Meanwhile, the Jazz continue to nip at the Lakers’ heels, trailing by only nine points with under nine minutes to go. Fisher and Bryant both return for the Lakers after the timeout.
7:36 Odom checks in for Turiaf with the Lakers lead at only five points at 85-80.
5:29 Sasha hits a jumper from just inside the three point arc to give the Lakers a nine point lead. After a relatively quiet second half, the crowd is finally showing signs of life again after the make. The make is Vujacic’s first of the second half after sparking the Lakers with nine points in the first half.
4:31 After five straight points from the Jazz, Jackson calls timeout with the team’s one-time 17 point lead down to only four points at 91-87.
3:28 Kobe nearly connects on a three point play, driving to the hoops and in the process, drawing the sixth personal on Boozer. After making one of two, the Lakers lead 94-87. Bryant has 35 points on the night.
1:59 Gasol follows up Kobe’s layup attempt by tipping it in for his twelfth point of the night, giving the Lakers a seven point lead 96-80 with just under two minutes remaining.
1:33 Kobe and Pau team up again, with Kobe dumping the ball into a running Gasol who lays it in gently off the glass for a eight point Lakers lead.
1:10 After William’s layup attempt hung on the rim for what seemed like an hour before missing, Kobe picks up the loose ball and gets fouled.
44.9 Odom leaves the game to a raucous ovation from the crowd with the Lakers up 101-90. Lamar exits with 16 points and nine rebounds–both numbers good enough for second best on the team.
FINAL SCORE: Jazz 98, Lakers 109