Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Jazz: Almond Morris, Kyrylo Fresenko
Lakers: Coby Karl, Andrew Bynum, Trevor Ariza
12:00 Kobe gets a raucous standing ovation from the gold-clad crowd after receiving his first MVP award from NBA Commissioner David Stern. After thanking the crowd, Kobe screamed, “Let’s get this party started!”
10:57 The Lakers hit their first two shots of the game, the first a near three pointer by Fisher and the second, a jumper by Radmanovic that hits nothing but net. It’s only been a minute, but the Lakers look focused and ready to play, easing any initial concerns about a hangover effect from the pre-game MVP ceremony.
9:11 Mr. MVP hits his second consecutive shot to open the game, the first on a driving reverse layup and the second on one of his signature fadeaway jumpers. The STAPLES Center is buzzing early–much more so than they were in Game 1. Kobe is tied with Lamar for the early lead in scoring with four.
6:25 The Jazz are forced to call timeout after the Lakers trapped them in the corner. L.A. is up 15-13 with just about half of the first quarter remaining. The Jazz come out looking to penetrate early in tonight’s game, but the Lakers have mached their intensity so far.
5:29 Boozer just picked up his second personal with an over the back foul that sends him to the bench and puts Paul Milsap in.
4:40 Kobe’s not about to let anyone else in the building steal the show on his MVP night, rattling in a spot-up three pointer that ignites the fired-up crowd. Bryant has a game-high seven points and is shooting for a near perfect 3-4 from the floor. Meanwhile, the Lakers have increased their lead to the largest margin of the game so far, 22-13.
3:38 Jerry Sloan, obviously not pleased with a foul call on Kobe picks up a T.
2:55 The Lakers call timeout after Odom after retrieving a difficult pass from Kobe and throwing it off Okur’s legs as he was careening out of bounds. The Lakers are up by double digits already, 25-15 with Bryant (10 points) and Odom (eight points) leading the way. The purple and gold are out-shooting the Jazz 69% to 39% so far.
Luke Walton checks into the game following the timeout.
2:21 Fisher hits a three from the corner to reclaim some of the momentum Utah was beginning to build after Milsap nailed a jumper and one to cut the score to 25-18.
2:05 Turiaf checks into the game for the first time.
1:02 Farmar comes into replace Fisher after he just drilled home another three to give the Lakers a game-high 13 point lead, 31-18. Derek is tied with Odom for second on the team in scoring with eight.
28.9 Sasha comes in for Kobe, who leaves to another round of loud cheers.
11:41 It took all of 19 seconds for Boozer to pick up his costly third personal foul, sending him for the bench for what could be the rest of the first half.
10:33 Farmar picks up his first points of the game with a jumper from about 18 feet out that gives the Lakers a 35-21 lead after Milsap’s three point play cut it to 11.
9:34 Jackson calls a timeout after Korver connects on a long range bomb from the corner to chop the lead to single digits again, 35-26. The Jazz are still only shooting a poor 35% from the floor, but have shown signs in the past minute or two that they are finally coming out of their slump. Out of the timeout, Odom returns to the floor and almost immediately, Sasha nails his first three of the night.
7:29 Walton throws a pass to the rim that looks like it’s too low, but Gasol says no problemo and hammers it home for his fifth point of the night, giving the Lakers a 43-30 edge.
6:37 Fisher and Bryant both return for the Lakers with the team up by 11.
6:23 With the smaller Harpring guarding him, Gasol takes advantage of the mismatch by throwing a dunk down in his face with surprising authority for the Spaniard. The crowd at STAPLES likes it, jumping to their feet as the Lakers lead 45-31.
4:54 Lamar takes a tough pass from Fish and uses his long arms to throw in a layup that rests on the rim for a bit before deciding to fall in for a 49-38 Lakers lead. Odom has 11 points and nine rebounds already.
3:13 Derek’s heating up, making his second straight shot for a 55-40 Lakers lead that equals their largest of the game. With the make, Derek takes over the team lead in scoring with his twelfth point on 5-6 shooting. A a team, the Lakers are shooting a gaudy 64% from the field compared to only 41% for Utah.
2:29 Vujacic returns for the Lakers as Gasol makes two free throws to push the Lakers’ lead to 57-43.
The Lakers’ stellar offense dominated them game for most of the first half as they outscored Utah 63-49, outshooting the by an impressive 61% to 41%. L.A.’s big three showed up in a big way in the first 24 minutes with newly crowned MVP scoring 12 points, Gasol notching 15, Odom 13 and Fisher nabbing 12 points. Paul Milsap scored 13 points off the bench for the Jazz, but no other Utah player scored more than nine points. The Lakers also addressed one of their biggest problems in Game 1–rebounding–by pulling down one more board than the Jazz in the first half for a 20-19 edge.
9:36 Odom nearly connects on a three point play, but misses the free throw. Before the make, the Jazz had caught the lead to just eight points–the closest they’ve been in what seems like a eternity.
8:44 Kobe follows Lamar’s lead and drives to the hole, using his superior height to throw up a layup that gives him 16 on the night to place him second on the team behind Odom’s 19. Lamar also has a game-high 13 points to respond to the rebounding disparity between the two teams in Game 1.
7:20 Almost mimicking his previous play, Bryant takes the ball up strong for a layup and one amidst his first “MVP” chants of the second half. With the makes, Kobe ties Lamar for the team lead in scoring to go along with five rebounds and three assists.
5:47 Kobe shoots a contested jumper from about 12 feet out as if nobody’s guarding him for his twenty third point of the night. For the second game in a row, the Jazz have had no answer for the MVP who is shooting an impressive 8-12 from the floor after shooting an efficient 8-16 in Game 1.
5:01 Luke returns to the floor out of the timeout.
3:55 After Milsap fell down looking for the offensive foul call, Luke promptly laid it in with ease for his first points of the night in 11 minutes. On the whole, the Lakers’ bench has been quiet tonight after a successful Game 1, only scoring 11 points so far.
3:12 It looks like Mr. MVP is heating up late here in the third quarter, making another difficult shot for his game-high twenty seventh point of the night on 10-14 from the field. Lamar Odom is the next highest scorer on the team with 19 points, followed by 15 from Gasol.
56.7 Fisher heads to the line for two looking to quell some of the sudden momentum by the Jazz after Utah cut the deficit to eight points at 80-88 with under a minute to go in the third quarter.
09.4 Derek’s at it again, this time hitting a corner three on the pass by Kobe to send STAPLES Center into a frenzy. The Lakers lead 93-83.
12:00 Gasol is back in the lineup to open up the fourth quarter.
11:13 Sasha’s been quiet for the most of the night, but he just nailed a big two pointer from just inside the arc to give the Lakers a 12 point lead early on in the fourth. Vujacic has five points on the night in nine minutes.
10:11 As been the case all game and really the series so far, when the Jazz have threatened, the Lakers have answered. Point and case: Milsap’s hard-earned deuce underneath the hoop brought the Jazz to within eight again, but Walton hit a three pointer to give L.A. a double-digit edge once again.
7:49 Bryant returns to the floor following the timeout for the stretch run.
6:15 With the Jazz threatening to cut the score to just four, Odom and Gasol play solid defense inside, launching the missed shot to Bryant who takes it into the lane for two free throws. After making one of two, the Lakers lead 99-92. Fisher returns to the floor after the two shots.
5:58 The fans at STAPLES Center don’t seem overly concerned with their home team up by only seven points as the entire arena–even the lower level–just completed several rounds of the wave.
5:40 Sasha bails the team out by hitting a mid-range jumper after Kobe lost control of the ball on his drive attempt and fell to the floor.
4:49 With most of the crowd on their feet, Lamar drives into the lane before dishing to Vujacic who throws it a running Fisher who stops just in time to nail a huge three pointer from the top of the key that sends STAPLES Center into temporary pandemonium. The team’s interior defense has been stellar the past few defensive possessions, blocking two Utah shots on the previous possession.
2:40 Just when it looked like Kobe had no options underneath the hoop, he somehow finds Pau for an impossible pass that results in an easy dunk that puts the Lakers up 109-99 with under three minutes to go. Kobe has had a true MVP worthy effort tonight with 30 points, six rebounds and six assists.
1:01 The MVP heads to the line after the fifth foul on Kirilenko and nails two to give the Lakers a pretty insurmountable 111-101 lead with just over a minute remaining in the game.
FINAL SCORE: Jazz 110, Lakers 120