What Went Right:
• Although he wasn’t overly aggressive on offense, making 6-10 shots from the field, Kobe still played his way to 26 points and drew post-game praise from Coach Jackson for letting the game come to him.
• 43 combined points for Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol who, according to Jackson and Kobe, both made “big plays” down the stretch to help L.A. remain in front of Utah in the final minutes of the game.
• The Lakers led for the entire 48 minutes, repeatedly squashing down Utah’s attempts to take the lead in the second half. As a result, any momentum gathered by the Jazz rarely lasted more than a play or two.
• The slumping Jordan Farmar and Vladimir Radmanovic both showed signs of life in Gam 5 with Farmar chipping in six timely points and Radmanovic catching fire in the first half en route to a 15 point effort.
• Whereas the Jazz have owned the boards in this series, the Lakers have excelled at getting to the free throw line, doing so again by making 34-42 in Game 5.
• The Jazz’ normally precise, well-executed offense struggled a bit in Game 5 as L.A. forced Utah into a surprising 19 turnovers.
What Went Wrong:
• Deron Williams was at it again, thrashing the Lakers’ defense for another 27 points to along with a game-high 10 assists.
• Ronnie Brewer got off to a hot start for Utah, winding up with 16 points on an impressive 7-9 from the field to help the Jazz stay within seven points of the Lakers at halftime.
• As has been the case all series, the Jazz dominated the Lakers on the boards with L.A. only grabbing 34 compared to Utah’s 44. Moreover, the Jazz won the offensive rebounding battle by a 17-11 margin.