Lakers 87, Jazz 96: Feb. 4 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Saturday evening road contest at Utah, the Lakers looking for a third straight road win to back up Friday’s win at Denver, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Starters
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, World Peace, Gasol and Bynum
Jazz: D. Harris, G. Hayward, J. Howard, P. Millsap, A. Jefferson

FIRST QUARTER
4:36 A night after grabbing a season-high 17 rebounds, Gasol grabbed his fifth of the first quarter on one end, then converted a tough and-1 from the baseline to reach seven points and give the Lakers an early 14-13 lead.

0:00 For a team that arrived at the team hotel at about 4 a.m., L.A. didn’t look too tired, getting 17 of its 25 first quarter points from Bryant and Gasol to lead by three points. Bynum also had six points, meaning a long Fisher jumper was the only hoop that didn’t come from the three best Lakers. In related news, the text question on KCAL.9 for the evening was: Who will score more points? A) Bryant + Gasol + Bynum, or B) the Patriots and Giants in the Super Bowl.

SECOND QUARTER
7:50 My tweet after Bynum converted a tough and-1 to put LAL up 33-29 (and before he swatted rookie Enes Kanter at the other end): After a tough and-1 from Bynum, World Peace couldn’t resist popping off the bench to emphatically kiss his biceps in tribute.

5:28 The second unit did a pretty good job for L.A., actually adding a point to the lead thanks to some internal damage from Bynum and a floater from Andrew Goudelock. The rookie did struggle a bit getting the Lakers into their offensive sets, however, which is something that Mike Brown actually expects since G-Lock has never really played PG in his life (he’s a scorer, folks).

0:00 A beautiful final play of the half allowed L.A. to hold a narrow 49-47 lead, and it involved all three stars, as Bryant passed out of a double-team to Gasol near the foul line, and the Spaniard turned to lob the ball inside to Bynum, who converted the layup. The three combined for 40 of L.A.’s 49 points.

THIRD QUARTER
5:33 The Jazz took their first lead since early in the contest when Al Jefferson got a jumper to go, though Bynum quickly responded by drawing a personal on the other end and converting both free throws. It was the second straight really strong game for Bynum (18 points, seven boards, two blocks) since he was announced as the Western All-Star starter at center.

3:14 “Sloppy” would be a good way to describe the third quarter for both teams, L.A. making only 3-of-14 shots, and Utah just 5-for-14, in a game knotted at 58 until two Kobe free throws gave him 15 points, three fewer than Gasol and Bynum for the game high.

0:03.0 As Utah picked it up on one end, L.A. got an answer from sub Matt Barnes, who drained a wing three off a Kobe kick out to tie the game at 67 heading into the final quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER
8:35 Mike Brown couldn’t have been more mad after a no call in transition when Gasol appeared to be fouled, and jumped off the bench all the way over to the nearest official. He was quickly tossed out of the game, and since Utah had already been on a run, the lead grew to double digits.

6:00 Utah kept its run, led by Earl Watson off the bench, who nailed a three to push the lead to 15. But the Lakers responded fiercely, Kobe hitting back-to-back threes and Bynum’s put back eventually cutting the lead to six with about four to go.

2:29 That was as close as L.A. would get, however, the lead remaining at six as Gasol swatted Raja Bell with a second left on the shot clock … but a back breaker resulted as Jefferson managed to get a shot off and through the net with 0.6 seconds on the clock. Watson nailed another triple, further putting the game out of doubt, in what ended up as a 96-87 final.