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Category: Utah Jazz

Things to watch in Lakers-Jazz game

Kobe Bryant

Some things to keep an eye on when the Lakers host the Utah Jazz on Tuesday at Staples Center on the third day of a three-game stretch.

1. How will the Lakers' energy hold up? This concern goes beyond playing three games on consecutive nights. The veteran-heavy Lakers face a Utah Jazz team that will be playing its first game of the season and has plenty of youth and speed, including Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, rookies Enes Kanter and Alec Burks, and Jeremy Evans. Utah may be less talented than in previous seasons and it's possible it will play be rusty. Besides the fact the Lakers need a win badly, however, they can't afford to allow their weary legs to drag.

2. Utah features a different lineup change. The Salt Lake Tribune's Brian T. Smith reports that Paul Millsap remains a game-time decision because of a right quadriceps tendon. Regardless, the report indicates that Jazz Coach Tyrone Corbin plans to start Favors ahead of Millsap at power forward.

Meanwhile, Hayward will get a starting spot at small forward over C.J. Miles. It remains to be seen whether this lineup change will add more spark to the Jazz or create chemistry issues initially. 

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Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 86-85 loss to Utah Jazz


Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains the Lakers poor effort in their 86-85 loss Tuesday to the Utah Jazz.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding notes the irony that the Lakers want home-court advantage, yet have lost their past two games at home.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen notices the Lakers-Jazz game appeared as ugly as the Connecticut-Butler national championship game.

--The Daily News' Jill Painter highlights Kobe Bryant's turnover on the final play of the game.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Brian T. Smith praises Gordon Hayward's performance.


--The Times' Bresnahan highlights Amare Stoudemire's comments on Pau Gasol saying that he's soft.

--The Daily News' Tom Hoffarth reports Joel Meyers will not have his contract renewed for next season as the Lakers' play-by-play announcer.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Lassen notes Phil Jackson's strong contention he would never coach high school.

--Hoops World's Eric Pincus highlights Bryant's praise for Hayward.

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Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, Shannon Brown and Steve Blake discuss 86-85 loss to Utah Jazz

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

Lakers forward Pau Gasol

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Lakers lack intensity and execution in 86-85 loss to Utah Jazz


The clock ticked away with the ball in his hands.

That's the cue for Lakers guard Kobe Bryant to make a game-winning shot. At first, it appeared he would follow the storyline the 18,8891 at Staples Center had seen plenty of times. He dribbled to his right, pump faked and then pivoted to his left. With 1.8 seconds remaining, there was more than enough time for Bryant to pull up for a jumper, secure the game winner, and all the  anxious fans would go home happy.

Instead, the ball went off his fingertips, bounced off his knee and provided an ugly ending to an ugly 86-85 loss Tuesday to the Utah Jazz, the Lakers' second consecutive defeat.

"It slipped," Bryant said of the final play. "It slipped out of my hands."

That's not the only reason the game slipped out of the Lakers' hands. You also can't entirely blame  Bryant's six-of-18 shooting clip -- or the fact that Utah guard Gordon Hayward hit one of two free throws and impressed Bryant enough with his 22-point performance on nine-of-14 shooting, including a one-handed dunk, that the Lakers star compared the rookie guard to former Jazz standout Jeff Hornacek.

There are plenty of reasons why Lakers forward Lamar Odom described the team's effort as the worst loss of the season, but he implored reporters not to spend much time dwelling on it.

"You can't dissect this game," Odom said. "There's nothing there. You can't find nothing. Don't get intricate in your writing. Don't do it. We played bad, really bad. It's time to move on."

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L.A. Times' Mark Medina on Lakers' 86-85 loss to Utah Jazz

--Mark Medina

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Lakers vs Utah: Lakers lose to Jazz; Kobe Bryant loses ball late

Kobe5 Jazz 86, Lakers 85 (final)

The Lakers had been riding a high, going 17-1 at point after the All-Star break, winning nine in a row in the process.

But now the Lakers have lost two straight games, the latest to the struggling Utah Jazz Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant had a chance to give the Lakers the victory, but he lost the ball on a last-second shot as time expired.

It meant that the Lakers now are 3 1/2-games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA.

Derrick Favors made just one of two free throws for an 85-82 Jazz lead.

Bryant, who finished with 20 points on six-for-18 shooting, tied the game up with a three-pointer with 16.2  seconds left.

Jazz rookie Gordan Haywood was fouled by Bryant on a drive.

Haywood made one of two free throws for an 86-85 Jazz lead with six seconds left. Haywood finished with 22 points, but his miss left the door open for the Lakers.

But Bryant was unable to deliver for the Lakers.

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Lakers Chat: Lakers vs. Utah Jazz

Tweetable items from Phil Jackson's pre-game press conference.

Phil Jackson on Utah Jazz

Both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol will suit up Tuesday against Utah. Said Jackson: "They're ready and willing. At this time of the season, these guys could use the rest. But you'd think it's best for them to keep playing

On home-court advantage: That's something you always say, 'No you don't' when you don't have it. Then you say it's really great to have when you do have it."

Jackson answers the argument from Amare Stoudemire and Kendrick Perkins that Pau Gasol is still soft.

If there is an offer he couldn't refuse to continue coaching: I haven't heard of it or anticipated it." He said a potential lockout partly affected his decision to retire.

Join the chat below the jum!

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Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 96-85 victory over Utah Jazz


Game stories

-- The Times' Broderick Turner credited the Lakers rallying for a 96-85 victory Friday over the Utah Jazz.

-- The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding details the Lakers' dominance.

-- The Salt Lake Tribune's Brian T. Smith focuses on the Jazz's dashed playoff hopes.

-- The Daily News' Elliott Teaford highlights the Lakers' second-half improvement against Utah.


-- The Times' Turner reports Lakers forward Matt Barnes sounded contrite over his one-game suspension.

-- The Orange County Register's Ding highlights Bryant's zingers on Kyrylo Fesenko.

-- The Daily News' Teaford details Barnes' suspension.


-- The Salt Lake Tribune's Kurt Kragthorpe mentions the Lakers' habit of ending Utah's seasons.

-- The Salt Lake Tribune's Gordon Monson argues the Jazz should draft Jimmer Fredette.

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Lakers grind it out in 96-85 victory over Utah Jazz

60592074Wincing in pain over his right knee, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant limped to the sideline for a brief moment, returned to the court as if nothing ever happened and then dialed up his aggressiveness.

Bothered with a stomach flu that just wouldn't go away, Lakers forward Lamar Odom headed to the locker room multiple times, returned to the bench soon after each trip and made late-game contributions.

And featuring all the effects of a back-to-back game, including lack of energy, focus and execution, the Lakers overcame those first-half lapses by simply willing themselves to grind out a 96-85 victory Friday over the Utah Jazz.

The magnitude of a win over Utah doesn't mean much. The loss actually officially eliminated the Jazz from playoff contention for the first time since the 2005-06 season, closing a frustrating season that involved Coach Jerry Sloan's resignation and the trade of point guard Deron Williams. The significance of this win presents to the Lakers both literal and symbolic value. The literal: the Lakers extended their winning streak to nine games, the longest stretch at any point this season, improved their record to 17-1 since the All-Star break and closed the gap for first place in the Western Conference to 1 1/2 games behind San Antonio, whose overtime loss to Houston marked its sixth consecutive defeat. The symbolic: the Lakers fought back in this game much like the way they did after a inconsistent stretch leading into the All-Star break. It featured the Lakers finding the proper energy and making tactical adjustments.

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Lakers vs Utah: Lakers defeat Jazz, move closer to Spurs

Lakers6_510 Lakers 96, Jazz 85 (final)

The Lakers defeated the Utah Jazz.

That wasn't the biggest news.

The important development was that the victory pulled the Lakers to within 1 1/2 games of the struggling San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA.

The Lakers are 17-1 since the All-Star break. They have won nine consecutive games.

Kobe Bryant led the way with 21 points. Lamar Odom had 16 points, as did Pau Gasol.

 Lakers 71, Jazz 64 (end of third quarter)

It was a better effort by the Lakers in the third quarter.

They caught the Jazz at 62-62 on a Derek Fisher three-pointer and then they extended the lead later in the period.

The quarter ended with a Lamar Odom three-pointer that pushed L.A.'s lead to seven points entering the fourth quarter.


Lakers-Jazz photos

Lakers-Jazz box score

NBA suspends Matt Barnes for one game

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