The Los Angeles Lakers needed 11 points from Kobe Bryant in the final four minutes while holding the Jazz to a single field goal in that same span to pull out a 104-99 victory.
Kobe led all scorers with 31 points while Pau Gasol added 25 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.
LA’s starters carried the play throughout the game building a lead, but the Lakers bench wasn’t able to hold it in the fourth. The Jazz scored seemingly at will against the Lakers bench necessitating the return of Kobe and the rest of the artillery.
The Utah Jazz starters put up decent numbers, but weren’t able to keep up with the Lakers.
The Jazz were led by Deron Williams who had 24 points and 8 assists. Williams had plenty of help as Carlos Boozer had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds while Paul Millsap fell just short of a double-double with 16 points and 9 rebounds off of the bench.
The Lakers big-men gave the Jazz fits all night. Missing Mehmet Okur for the remainder of the playoffs and Andrei Kirilenko, the Jazz just didn’t have enough size to compete.
Kirilenko is close to returning, however, and his size and reach could be useful for shutting down Bryant or competing for rebounds.
The 104-99 Lakers win wasn’t enough to cover the spread. The Jazz enjoy a tremendous ATS advantage going 25-19-2 on the road versus the LA’s abysmal home record of 25-19-1.