Lakers crush Jazz without Bryant, Bynum
Lakers 96, Jazz 81 (final)
The Lakers wanted to finish strong, to finish with some momentum, to finish with a mini-winning streak before the All-Star break, to finish the right way even with Kobe Bryant missing his third consecutive game and Andrew Bynum missing his second consecutive game.
Mission accomplished -- and it happened against one of the toughest teams at home in the NBA and against a Utah Jazz team that was one of the league's hottest.
The Lakers won their third conseccutive game without their two starters. Now they get five days off for the All-Star break before they play again Tuesday night against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.
The Lakers won because of their team work, because they shared the basketbal, because they played team defense in which they all helped each other.
They also won because Pau Gasol had another very impressive game with 22 points and 19 rebounds. He was 10-for-15 from the field.
Lamar Odom had his season-high with 25 points and 11 rebounds. He also had four three-point plays. Odom, who led the Lakers in scoring, was seven for nine from the field, 11 for 12 from the free-throw line.
Jordan Farmar came off the bench to provide the Lakers with 18 points, making seven of 11 shots.
The Jazz had won nine consecutive games and 10 in a row at home, entering the game with a 22-6 record at EnergySolutions Arena.
The Jazz had defeated the Lakers here the last time the teams played -- and that was with Bryant and Bynum playing.
But the Lakers stopped all that in impressive fashion, opening a 21-point lead at one point, never really losing control of the game they took from the start by opening a 31-18 first-quarter lead.
Bryant missed the game because of a sprained left ankle and Bynum, who also missed the second half of the Portland game last Saturday night because of his injury, didn't play becasue of a bruised right hip.
Broderick Turner -- From Salt Lake City