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Dissecting the Lakers' scoreless drought and defensive performance in the final 2:31 of their 102-96 loss to the Utah Jazz

November 27, 2010 |  8:57 am

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2:32 - 2:13, Utah ball: With Jazz guard Raja Bell directing the offense up top, forward Andrei Kirilienko flashed up toward the left block and received a pass. As Lakers forward Ron Artest heavily guarded Kirilienko, Bell curled around him as Lakers guard Kobe Bryant cut across the free-throw line and stayed on his assignment. Meanwhile, Utah guard Deron Williams penetrated the wing as Jazz forward Paul Millsap set a pin down screen on Lakers guard Derek Fisher. Fisher chased Williams through the pin down and Lakers forward Lamar Odom kept on Millsap, but Utah forward Al Jefferson set a downscreen on Fisher. Gasol stayed with Jefferson and Fisher curled around him, but he met another screen above the free-throw line from Kirilienko as Williams received a pass at the top of the key.

Artest picked up Williams, while Fisher switched on Kirilienko, who flashed to the weakside. With Artest guarding Williams one-on-one, Bryant covering the nearside and Odom staying on Millsap, Bell slipped along the baseline and cut to the nearside perimeter. Bryant immediately picked him up, but Williams drove through the lane. Odom picked him up in the paint, but Williams thread the needle to Millsap for the easy layup, cutting the Lakers' lead to 96-93.

2:05 - 1:47, Lakers ball.Odom directed the offense up top, as Bryant< set a screen on Kirilienko. Odom drove left, while Bryant rolled back toward the top of the key, but Kirilienko fought through Bryant's screen and picked Odom up on the nearside. Meanwhile, Bryant posted up on the left block, but Kirlienko knocked the ball out of bounds before Odom could pass the ball to Bryant. With 11 seconds remaining on the shot clock, Bryant inbounded the ball to Pau Gasol on the nearside and then cut to perimeter. Once Bryant received the dump pass, he met a double team, but received very little help from everyone else. Gaol stationed on the nearside, Odom, remained in the paint, Ron Artest stood on the far corner behind the three-point line and Derek Fisher stayed on the far end of the court.

Bryant dribbled out all the way to the timeline before firing an over-the-shoulder pass to Odom at the top of the key. He immediately passed the ball to Gasol, who fired a 21-foot jumper, but missed.

1:43 - 1:15, Utah ball:After Kirilienko grabbed the rebound off Gasol's miss, Williams directed the Jazz offense. He drove to his left past Fisher, but Gasol cut down to the farside to shut off his driving lane. Jefferson received a pass from Williams on the left block, as Lakers forward Ron Artest picked him up. Jefferson found left Kirilienko wide open on the nearside, but he airballed the uncontested three-pointer. The shot hit the net and replays showed the ball last touched Gasol's hands before going out of bounds as 13 seconds remained on the shot clock. Millsap threw in the inbounds pass on the far side along the baseline to Williams in the corner, but Fisher immediately picked him up. Jefferson received a pass from the left blocked and cut into the lane and received double coverage from Gasol and Odom, and his shot hit off the rim. Artest tried grabbing the rebound, but the ball went out of bounds off his hands.

The shot clock remained at 13 seconds, but they never reset the time. Nonetheless, Millsap inbounded the ball to Williams on the corner. Jefferson set a screen on Fisher as Williams curled to the top of the key, but Fisher stayed with him. Williams dribbled between his legs, and Fisher gave a slight handcheck as he stepped back to shut off his driving lane. But Williams pulled up for a three-pointer and the shot swished through the net, tying the game up at 96-96.

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1:19 - 1:03, Lakers ball: On the other end, Bryant fed a pass to Gasol on the nearside perimeter. Bryant cut across Gasol and appeared his dump pass to Bryant was unexpected. The ball slipped off Bryant's injured right index finger and Williams picked up the loose ball. He immediately fed it to Bell, who converted on the fast-break finger roll as the Jazz took a 98-96 lead. The clock remained malfunctioned.

1:03 - :52With chants of "Beat L.A." reigning over EnergySolutions Arena, Gasol set a pick for Bryant on Bell, but Jefferson picked him at the top of the key. Bryant fired a pass to Artest, who remained open behind the three-point lane on the far corner, but Kirilienko immediately picked him up. Instead of feeding an entry pass to Odom, Artest cut across the lane, causing Millsap to pick him up. He set back for a jumper on the left block, but the ball fell short.

:48 - :14, Jazz ballKirilienko grabbed the rebound, but play immediately stopped because the shot clock didn't reset. Williams then directed the half-court offense, as Jefferson tried setting a screen on Fisher above the key. Gasol and Fisher picked Williams up just past the timeline as Jefferson cut inside, but Odom picked him up. Once Gasol took Millsap, Williams drove left, prompting Gasol to cut off his passing lane. But Millsap flashed on the wing and received a pass. Odom cut him off in the lane, forcing a bad angle on Millsap's layup. The shot hit off the backboard and Gasol grabbed the rebound. Fisher was about to run the offense, but time stopped again because the shot clock didn't reset, prompting him to bounce the ball in frustration.

It became the equivalent of Utah calling timeout to set up its defense. Artest inbounded the ball with 27.8 seconds left to Bryant near the timeline.

Gasol set a screen for Bryant on Bell on the far side, and Bryant drove left. Jefferson picked Bryant up, and he fired a pass to an open Artest on the nearside perimeter. His three-point shot rimmed out and Bell grabbed the rebound. Gasol committed the foul on Bell with 12 seconds remaining, forcing the Jazz to inbound the ball on the farside. Once Bell picked up the inbounds pass, Fisher foul him and he converted two free throws to extend the Jazz lead to 100-96.

:11.6 - :02, Lakers ballGasol drove in for an eight-foot jumper through traffic, but the shot went off the mark. Lakers forward Matt Barnes tried converting on the putback, but it didn't drop. Kirilienko grabbed the board, drew a foul Odom and sank two free throws for the 102-96 lead.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant beats Jazz point guard Deron Williams for a layup in the first half Friday night. Credit: Steve C Wilson / Associated Press.

Photo: Lakers center Pau Gasol head-bumps guard Kobe Bryant, who drew a foul from the Jazz on a three-point shot in the fourth quarter Friday night. Credit: Steve C Wilson / Associated Press.


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