In a Harsh Game the Lakers Defeat Utah

By: Stephen Lars

Kobe Bryant scored 38 points taking the Lakers to the first victory in the West Conference semifinals (109-98) against the Jazz of Utah. Additional help came from Pau Gasol with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while the Jazz players also did their part with Mehmet Okur with 21 points and 19 rebounds and Carlos Boozer with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

The Lakers certainly came back to life after their fall in the previous qualifying round against the Denver Nuggets. While at play with the Jazz the Lakers were down but were able to recover for a final victory.

Another clash was also taking place between coaches Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan who had not been face to face since the 1998 NBA final between the Bulls and the Jazz. The Lakers took advantage of the low Jazz shot percentage 36/95, 37.9 a definite turn-around which aim the team.

From the beginning, Gasol knew to take advantage of the gaps left by the rival defense to catch the assistance and be led directly to the hoop. Two Jazz players tried to block him but Gasol knew how to prevent that blocking and scored his best points.

On the other hand, Utah Jazz Deron Williams had a very positive control of the ball as he handled it with intelligence a plan, which was working against his rivals during the first quarter, as they were faster than the Lakers.

It is very possible Bryant will be named the best player of the season; he has been very steady and has not fail his team when needed most. During the first quarter of the game against Utah he scored 15 points leaving the Californians with one point of advantage (25-24). .

The Lakers also had extra resources with Vujacic whose triples triggered the team's take off. Gasol on this end kept approaching the hoop and led the team to a (41-28). The team's true winning formula was a combination of speed in the attack and an intense defense.

Throughout the game the Lakers led with a small difference while the Utah players distributed amongst themselves the points in the same way as in the game carried out in the series against the Rockets last Friday.

During the second half, the Lakers spectacular game continued despite the constant attack from the Utah players Boozer and Okur who tried to turn the situation around but did not find the way to it. Then in the last quarter with the scoreboard at 79-72 the Staples Center trembled as both teams continue their fight for the night triumph.

The Jazz suffered an unexpected removal of one of the players; when Boozer walked out of the court; then Gasol awoke and began to score (101-90) and only 44 second before the end of the game; Utah just did not how to solve the equation and the Lakers imposed their superiority quickly to grasp the win.

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