Read about the Lakers vs. Jazz game as it unfolds. As always, feel free to refresh your browser for live updates throughout the game … On second thought, I guess they wouldn’t technically be “live” updates since you have to press refresh. But whatever.
Lakers – Jazz Running Diary, April 19, 2009
Lakers 113, Jazz 100: Postgame
Lakers – Jazz Running Diary, April 21, 2009
Lakers 119, Jazz 109: Postgame
Lakers: Adam Morrison, Sun Yue
Jazz: Mehmet Okur*, Kosta Koufos, Morris Almond
*Okur will miss his third straight playoff game with a strained right hamstring.
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Ariza, Gasol and Bynum
Jazz: Deron Williams, Ronnie Brewer, Andrei Kirilenko*, Carlos Boozer and Jarron Collins
*Kirilenko is starting in place of Kyle Korver for defensive purposes.
That Jerry Sloan would tweak his lineup at this stage of the season shows a certain sign of desperation … In other words, Utah had to shake something up to have a better chance to beat L.A. In that case, going defensive isn’t a bad idea in principle (with Kirilenko assigned to the hot shooting Ariza), but it’s also an idea that could backfire since Utah won’t get the bench boost it’s used to from the Russian. Furthermore, L.A. probably doesn’t want Ariza taking a great deal of perimeter shots, as it will focus on ball control and getting the rock down to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
12:00 Left ear drum nearly pops during warmups. If the regular season game here in February was like a Metallica concert, this is closer to having Metallica play in your dorm room.
11:55 The noise level dropped off about 100 decibels when Kirilenko threw his opening touch into the crowd. But here’s what you should know about Utah’s crowd … When the ball went off Boozer’s leg out of bounds on Utah’s next possession, protests went up like it were a hugely obvious wrongful conviction in a Supreme Court trial. This will get worse, and makes the job much tougher on the referees.
9:36 While the Lakers had yet to get a good shot, turning the ball over twice, Kirilenko finished at the rim for a 4-0 lead that could have been 8-0 had Brewer and Williams not missed open looks.
8:17 However, some great ball movement resulted in a Fisher three as the Lakers began to settle down a bit, staving off the early Jazz charge with just a one-point deficit. Subsequently, Bynum, who’d committed a silly foul in the first minute, was charged with his second as Collins went up for a layup, and Odom checked in for the visitors.
7:03 Odom doesn’t wait long to make his presence felt, does he? A top-of-the-key three put L.A. up 10-7. The only other player that’s as good as Odom off the bench in the NBA is a healthy Manu Ginobili, and in these playoffs, the only guy even close is Jason Terry … And he only helps you on one side of the floor.
5:23 Did you know that if you foul somebody on an inbounds play before the pass is made, it’s two free throws? Fisher found out as Williams’ two shots made it 13-10 Jazz, which preceded a Boozer jumper and Millsap layup that capped a 10-0 run.
3:30 Fisher finally stopped the bleeding with a tough, contested, running banker in the lane that was of the no … no … no … yes variety. The Lakers were shooting only 25 percent to that point, 4-of-16, not quite as good as Thursday’s 18-for-21. Jazz 19, Lakers 12.
2:40 After a Boozer free throw, the Lakers starters were lucky to be down by just eight. They were relatively soft in the lane defensively, didn’t get great ball movement with the exception of a few plays and were short on most jumpers. Into the game came Shannon Brown and Luke Walton, joining Bryant, Gasol and Odom. It was Bryant who took the first shot, and was short for the fourth straight time.
0:47.7 Odom put a nice move on Millsap, didn’t get a foul call on his layup attempt but grabbed his own board and stuck it back to make it 24-17. Brewer answered with a jumper, and Walton missed good looks from three and in the lane, respectively, allowing Utah to take a 9-point lead into the second quarter. The good news for L.A. is they couldn’t have played much worse, and had 36 minutes to make up for it.
Boozer was terrific with nine points and 11 boards to lead the Jazz, while Bryant failed to score, Bynum had just two free throws and Gasol went 2-for-7. Odom was the only Laker to play well, and would remain on the floor alongside Brown, Sasha Vujacic, Walton and Bynum to open the second.
Continue reading ‘Lakers – Jazz Running Diary: Game 3′