Can Lakers get a three-peat on the road? [Update]
Last year the Lakers were trying to win a third consecutive title.
This year, expectations have downshifted a bit, with the team hoping for three consecutive road victories.
The Lakers made themselves at home here last month during a 90-87 overtime victory against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena, and the rematch Saturday evening could be coming at a good time for the Lakers.
[Update, 5:25 p.m.: Utah point guard Devin Harris (strained left hamstring) and shooting guard Raja Bell (strained right thigh muscle) will be available to play tonight, as will backup point guard Earl Watson (sprained left ankle), who had been questionable. All three players sat out Utah's 119-101 loss to Golden State on Thursday, forcing the Jazz to use third-stringer Jamaal Tinsley as its point guard.]
Tinsley played well, collecting nine points, 13 assists, six rebounds and two steals in 34 minutes.
Tinsley, for those who follow the NBA Development League, was a member of the Los Angeles D-Fenders until the Jazz signed him on Dec. 10. Yes, the D-Fenders are a Lakers affiliate, but any NBA team can sign players from their roster.
Tinsley, the No. 1 overall selection in the Development League draft, averaged 9.9 points, 7.6 assists and 2.4 steals in eight games with the D-Fenders.
A Lakers victory Saturday would improve their road record to 4-7 and give them as many victories in Salt Lake City (two) as in other NBA road venues combined.
--Ben Bolch in Salt Lake City
Photo: Guard Kobe Bryant charges into Jazz forward C.J. Miles during their game last month in Salt Lake City, where the Lakers won, 90-87, in overtime. Credit: George Frey / EPA