Three pointers for Jazz sub Randy Foye, who drained four in the decisive first four minutes of the fourth quarter. L.A. over-helped on dribble penetration to leave him open for at least two of the four, which erased a Dwight Howard and-1 and Metta World Peace triple that cut Utah’s double-digit lead down to just five.
More points in the paint for the Jazz. Pau Gasol was particularly quiet, managing only five points on 2 of 9 shooting. On the other side of the coin for the Lakers, 12 is also the number of rebounds grabbed by sub Jordan Hill in 22 minutes, seven on the offensive end.
Free throws made by Bryant, eight of which came in the fourth quarter, when he scored 16 of his game-high 29 points. Kobe added five boards, four assists and three steals in 37 minutes.
Lakers color analyst Stu Lantz targeted 14 turnovers as a number L.A. would need to hang around for a good chance to win. Instead, they committed 19, led by Kobe Bryant’s six and Dwight Howard’s five.
“A lot of it just comes from reading each other, just getting in sync with each other,” said Bryant. “Those passes are just off timing and getting deflected. The turnovers that we are getting are turnovers from guys trying to make the right play, trying to make plays for other people. Put teammates in positions to be successful.”
Personal fouls committed by the Jazz, who at home have been known to play with increased physicality, sometimes fouling several times per possession. L.A. was not as physical, committing just 14 fouls, but made only 32 of 46 free throws (69.6 percent) in a game they lost by nine. Utah hit 16 of its 18 attempts at the stripe.
“I think our intensity was low, we didn’t play as hard as we should have played and they played hard,” said Howard. “That’s how they won the game.”
L.A.’s field goal percentage in what was a putrid shooting night for nearly everybody but Dwight Howard, who made 7 of his 11 attempts. Not one teammate was over 50 percent, including Bryant, who hit 7 of 17 to finish below 50 percent for the first time all season. As a team, however, L.A. still ranks fourth in field goal percentage on the young season (47 percent).
“I thought we didn’t play well offensively,” said coach Mike Brown. “I can count on both hands and both feet how many wide-open shots we had, especially from the three-point line, that you hope or think is going to go in. Every wide-open three that we missed or every time we went up to try to dunk the ball or lay it in and it got stripped or it got knocked out of our hands, it made us tighten up a little bit more. Again, we didn’t do a good job of moving on to the next play.”