They got the tip, but quickly lost the ball and put the Jazz at the line. Ronnie Brewer makes one of two and Kobe’s three point attempt sails long. That’s gonna wrap this one up for the Jazz.
The Lakers take a 20-second timeout with just fourteen seconds left and a jump ball between Gasol and Williams in Jazz territory. It should be an easy grab for Pau, but the Lakers will need to get a quick bucket off the tip and then get the ball back to cut into the 103-99 Jazz lead.
Six points on three quick possessions by Carlos Boozer push the lead back to nine with under two to play. None of the three were easy ones either. He’s 5 of 7 this quarter.
Back-to-back steals for Fisher cut the Jazz lead to three points after the free throws with 3:22 left to play. Fisher is also shaking off a poor first half (two fouls in the first three minutes) to make a huge impact as time dwindles off the clock. 95-92 Utah.
I don’t have the skills to describe what Kobe Bryant does sometimes. We’ll work on that for next year.
Boozer has managed to play 36 of the first 42 minutes tonight after just picking up his fourth foul with just 5:27 to go. Quite a change from the first two contest where he was largely ineffective because of limited minutes. The 17 boards show what a problem a strong inside presence is for the Lakers in the absence of Andrew Bynum.
The Lakers are picking it up on the defensive end, making the right switches for the first time all game and staying with everything. Fish makes two free throws to cut the lead to five at 86-81 with seven minutes left.
Kobe comes out of the timeout looking to exploit the same matchup, getting the and one on Harpring.
The Lakers go small, subbing Kobe back in for Walton while keeping Sasha in at the two. The Jazz immediately try to exploit the matchup of Harpring on Bryant, but Kobe is up to the task, blocking Harpring’s shot.
Ronny gets nicked for three fouls in the first three minutes of the quarter, upping his total to five and sending him to the bench. One definitely wasn’t deserved and our man from Martinique is doing all he can to contain himself.
The huddle between quarters is animated. Ronny came off the floor slamming the ball all fired up and Kobe goes straight to the front of the bench barking words of encouragement to the rest of the squad.
The see-saw quarter ended up going the Lakers (barely) way as they won the quarter 29-27, but still traile by seven points at 79-72.
Kobe came out looking to make up for the sub-par first half by making six of his seven shots for 12-points, but the Lakers still trail by seven at 70-63. Normally when Bryant goes on a rampage like he has this quarter the Lakers mix in some stops and it allows them to take control of the game while also taking the crowd out of the mix.
Not covering Memo Okur behind the arc is what the Lakers do (tonight at least). He’s four of five from out there. Pau got out on the next one and it was way long.
Earth shattering tomahawks are what #24 does.
Kobe is taking more of a role this quarter, taking four of the Lakers first seven shots and controlling the ball on almost every possession.
That tip by Kirilenko was at least one beat after the clock had buzzed to indicate the delay of game. I’m guessing that one shouldn’t have counted.
More than anything the Lakers have to feel lucky to only be down by 9 (52-43) with the way they played that half.
Out of sync is a word I use to describe the Lakers offensively in the first half. Pau is 3/6, but hasn’t been in any sort of rhythm. He’s letting Okur body him up. Kobe’s only has 8-points and 6 of them were from the line (that’s all you need to know about his first half). Vladi is back at it a little bit, that’s nice to see.
I hate seeing the Lakers whine on the court. It’s something that was rampant last season (and even into the start of this year), but hasn’t been much of an issue lately. It’s back in full force tonight. I think Kobe’s the only one that hasn’t made an official protest to the refs thus far.
15-9 assists in favor of the Jazz, which is basically a flip flop of how the first couple games have gone.
Carlos Boozer reiterated after both games that the Jazz had played three good quarters each game, they just let one get away from them every night. Tonight they haven’t let that one get away…. yet.
The Lakers finished the quarter 11-8 with Kobe back in it. They only shot 5 of 17 total that quarter.
Carlos Boozer vs. Derek Fisher in a jump ball situation. Of course Fish comes out with that one…. right?
Ronny just came up 4 inches short on a 30 inch shot, but his presence on the defensive end has carried over from game two as he continues to disrupt the paint on the Utah end.
The Jazz outscored the Lakers 18-10 to start the quarter while Kobe was on the bench.
Ronny Turiaf played the roll of super-sub, sliding over from the center spot to the power forward spot when Pau re-entered the game, and making all three of his shots. Still he’s on the sidelines upset. Emotions are running high tonight. I guess they always run high with Ronny, but everyone’s feeling it tonight.
Pau get’s hacked, doesn’t get the call, screams, and then gets a trey smashed in his face on the other end. Still going tough for that guy. Kobe gives him some words of encouragement as they roll to the TV timeout, but the big man has to keep his wits about him.
9 turnovers and there’s still 8:36 left in this quarter. I guess the Lakers should feel lucky that Utah has only converted that into 12-points.
Even when Pau makes his first bucket of the quarter he looks at the official wondering where the foul is. Bad body language from the Spaniard.
Gasol starts the quarter after taking an early seat in the first. Kobe sits.
The Lakers shot a vastly superior percentage from the floor (53% – 41%), matched the rebounding effort (including the offensive boards where they’ve been getting killed all series), and shot the same amount of free throws, but still find themselves tied at 23 with the Jazz because of sloppy play. The six turnovers by the visiting team compared to just one for the home team killed any hope of taking the lead.
Pau is getting frustrated and possibly flustered by the physical play. He’s spent four post-possessions glaring at the official and asking for help–not a good sign this early in the game. With just over 2:30 to go in the quarter Phil decides to bring in Ronny to counter Boozer’s physical style.
There’s a sign being held up behind the Lakers bench, I can’t see what it says (I think it’s something to do with Most Valuable something I think), but Ronny doesn’t like it. He even goes so far as to tell the guys holding it “That’s stupid”, before discussing with Trevor how stupid the sign actually is.
The Lakers jumped out to an ealy 11-3 lead, but after three turnover and generally sloppy play the Jazz have come back to tie it, even worse the crowd has a reason to get excited. The mistakes have just been stupid ones too. A missed inbounds pass, stepping out of bounds, a three seconds call.
Jordan Farmar is going to have a hard time staying in front of Deron Williams. A very hard time.
Derek Fisher picks up two quick fouls in the first three minutes and gets replaced by Jordan Farmar. There was a smattering of jeers, but mostly cheers during the introductions. There were also multiple article in the local papers saying how fans should cheer Fish. Still, after each foul was lustily cheered, Fish hears it from a couple fans as he heads to the bench.
American Idol finalist David Archuleta sang the national anthem. I don’t watch the show and had no idea who he was, but he was on every single local station this morning as he made his way around the city. I couldn’t get away from the kid on the television dial and I can’t get away from him now that I’m at the game.
Deron Williams is introduced last and gets twice the ovation that Carlos Boozer got (although the crowd was distracted by the affectionate “BooooooZ” cheer). Considering Boozer was their lone all-star this year I thought he’s get more billing.