Inactives for Tonight’s Game:
Jazz: Morris Almond, Kyrylo Fesenko
Lakers: Trevor Ariza, Andrew Bynum, Coby Karl
11:44 Kobe shows no ill signs of his back injury, nailing the first basket of the game for either team–a three pointer from the left corner. So far, STAPLES Center is trying to do their best Energy Solutions Arena impression, reaching decibel levels not yet heard during the Lakers’ current playoff run.
9:18 Lamar Odom drives deep into the lane, making the layup and one to give the Lakers an early 11-4 lead amidst an early “Utah Sucks” chant from the sold-out crowd. Odom had a tremendous Game 4, scoring 26 points–second only to Kobe’s 33.
7:43 Kobe’s made three of his first four field goals, nailing a jumper from the to of the key to increase the Lakers’ lead to 13-8. Bryant leads the Lakers in scoring with seven points. As a team, the Lakers’ execution early–outlined as a key for tonight’s game by Coach Jackson–has been crisp, while the Jazz have been sloppy so far.
5:48 Fisher gets his first two points of the game on free throws after driving to the whole and drawing the first foul on Deron Williams. Derek was a huge factor in the Lakers’ late comeback against the Jazz on Sunday, nailing three consecutive three pointers to send the game into overtime.
3:31 Radmanovic connects on two straight from beyond the arc to send STAPLES Center into pandemonium with the team leading 25-8 with three and a half minutes remaining in what’s been an impressive opening period so far. Vladi has a team leading 10 points on 4-5 shooting from the field–a dramatic early improvement from his sub par games in Salt Lake City.
2:52 Harpring, Milsap and Korver enter for the Jazz following the timeout.
2:19 Walton replaces Radmanovic who goes out to a nice applause. Turiaf enters the game to an even louder reaction after being tossed from Game 4 in Utah.
1:58 After exclusively shooting outside shots for most of the fourth quarter, Kobe drives deep into the lane and tests his back against the outstretched arms of Korver. The result: two free throws to bump his total on the game to nine.
1:13 Farmar checks in for Fisher as Odom heads to the line for two.
10:15 Jordan Farmar drains a three for what feels like the first time in a decade.
9:27 The Lakers unit of Gasol, Turiaf, Walton, Vujacic, and Farmar have played lock down, in your face, defense for the first three minutes of the quarter.
8:25 Gasol becomes the victim of a goal tend and a no call before finally getting raked on the arm as he went up for a third put back. Gasol had a quiet first quarter, only taking one shot but dishing out four assists. So far this quarter he’s scored four points (heading to the line) and ripped down three boards as the focal point of the second unit’s offense.
5:53 The team heads to the bench as they get a roar of approval from the crowd followed by a pretty strong “Utah Sucks” chant. The 45-35 lead equals the home teams biggest lead of the evening after the starting lineup (with Sasha in place of Vladi) re-entered the game and caused all types of problems for the Jazz on both ends. Gasol has upped his assists total to six and could be looking at a triple-double if his usual scoring and rebounding numbers come into play.
4:53 Free throw shooting absolutely killed the Lakers in Game 4 (only 47%) and probably cost them the game. They’ve missed two of their last three freebies here, but are still 13 of 15 on the evening.
1:26 Sasha hasn’t been afraid too shoot tonight (is he ever?) launching anything that comes his way, as long as it’s behind the three point line. Too bad he’s just one of five thus far.
It was all Gasol in the second frame as the big Spaniard finished up with 15-points (on 6/9 shooting), 4 boards, and 2 assists in the quarter. After a hot first quarter where he scored 10-points, Vladimir Radmanovic wasn’t inserted into the lineup for the second.
In their two wins this series the Lakers have used one big quarter to take a lead and then just hung on in the other quarters. Tonight they’ve taken both quarters, but by just 3 & 4 points, giving them a 61-54 lead.
Deron Williams woke up for the Jazz after a sluggish start, finishing the quarter with 12-points and 9 assists.
10:58 After missing his first attempt from outside, Derek nails the Lakers’ first bucket of the half after a quick 4-0 run by Utah cut the Lakers lead to just three at 61-58. Fisher has nine points on the night.
8:31 Official’s timeout on the floor with the Lakers clinging to a five point lead at 67-62 with Kirilenko headed to the line for two. As the late Chick Hearn used to say, the first five minutes of the third quarter set the tone for the rest of the second half. If that’s the case, Utah has come out as the aggressor here in the third on both ends of the floor.
Turiaf enters the game, replacing Odom, who is being treated by Gary Vitti for what looks like a cut somewhere on his face.
7:15 A patched-up Lamar re-enters the game with Ronny heading back to the sidelines.
6:35 Kobe draws the oohs and ahhs from the STAPLES crowd after putting a spin move on Williams that results in an uncontested layup to give the Lakers a 71-69 lead. Bryant has 17 points on the night to lead the team.
4:40 The Lakers take a timeout with the Jazz continuing to hang around, threatening to take over the lead with L.A. up only by two, 73-71. The purple and gold have tried to pound it into Gasol on the past few possessions, but have come up empty as the Spaniard seems to be having some problems holding onto the ball.
2:41 Utah calls timeout after Williams steps on the line on his drive attempt. The Jazz have had at least four chances in the past few minutes to take over the lead, but have been unable to connect with Odom blocking their latest attempt two possessions ago. The Jazz have never led in tonight’s game.
1:34 Kobe and the Lakers refuse to give up the lead as Bryant makes a driving layup and one to increase the Lakers lead to four points at 81-77. With the makes, the MVP’s scoring is up to a game-high 23 points. Turiaf and Farmar enter the lineup in between free throws.
0:00 Buzzer-beating specialist Farmar misses a three at the buzzer leaving the game tied at 81 going into the fourth and final quarter.
12:00 Vujacic, Gasol and Radmanovic all return to start the fourth quarter.
11:35 Vladi ignites the crowd–already on their feet–by syncing a three pointer with the shot clock winding down to give the Lakers an 84-81 advantage. Radmanovic has 15 points on the night to tie Odom and Gasol for second best on the team.
8:38 The resurgence of Jordan Farmar continues as the point guard weaves his way through the lane for a layup and one that sends the crowd into a frenzy. Farmar only has six points on the night, but his three ignited a run by L.A. in the first half and might do the same here in the fourth quarter. The Lakers lead 90-86.
Odom and Bryant both return for the Lakers after the timeout.
7:55 Odom electrifies the crowd with a powerful throw down to give the Lakers a 92-88 lead after a two by Kirilenko cut the lead to two once again. Lamar has 17 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
7:34 Fisher comes in for the stretch run to replace Farmar.
6:53 The Jazz are already in the penalty after a hard foul on Vujacic by Kirilenko sends Sasha to the line for two.
6:19 Odom’s at it again, running the lame and connecting on a thunderous dunk and one to push the Lakers’ lead to 96-91 and effectively halting any momentum gained by the Jazz after a big three by Williams on the previous possession.
4:29 The Lakers had built a slight six point cushion, but the lead is down to just three at 97-94 after one of two free throws by Boozer and consecutive poor possessions on offense for L.A.
3:07 The Jazz call timeout to end a stretch of ragged play for both teams. The Lakers have gotten a little too comfortable with their outside shot in the past three minutes after it looked like they had an effective inside game going with Odom prior to that. The Lakers lead 99-94 with three minutes to go.
2:41 Sasha wasn’t happy with what appeared to have been an errant shove as the Jazz were inbounding the ball and let the officials hear it. After the technical and free throw make, the Lakers lead 101-97.
1:43 After a three by Williams cut the lead to one, Odom hammers home a dunk to give the Lakers a 103-100 edge.
20.5 Gasol rebounds Vujacic’s three point miss and throws down a nasty dunk that sends STAPLES Center into bedlam and gives the team a 107-102 advantage with only twenty seconds remaining.
15.5 Fisher nails one of two free throws after the Jazz miss to give the Lakers a seemingly insurmountable six point lead with only 15 seconds remaining.
FINAL SCORE: Jazz 104, Lakers 111