Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/4

Game 1: Wednesday, December 4th
Game 2: Sunday, December 8th
Game 3: Saturday, February 1st
Game 4: Wednesday, February 19th

Jazz 101


Lakers 110

(9-13, 7-4 home)

Coverage: FSW

6:30 PM ET, December 8, 2002

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

1 2 3 4 T
UTAH 21 31 24 25101
LAL 34 24 30 22110

Top Performers

Utah: A. Kirilenko 30 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

Los Angeles: S. O'Neal 32 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 Blk

O'Neal, Bryant lead way as Lakers win back-to-back

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Lakers parlayed the momentum from their amazing comeback against Dallas into a 110-101 victory over the Utah Jazz and put themselves into position to win three consecutive games for the first time this season.

Kobe Bryant got past Utah's Andrei Kirilenko and finished with 25 points and 14 assists for the Lakers.

Shaquille O'Neal had 32 points and 11 rebounds and Kobe Bryant added 25 points and 14 assists as the Lakers posted consecutive victories for the first time in two weeks Sunday night.

''We're back to playing Lakers' style of basketball which is high-intensity defense, trying to get some easy opportunities, and because of that our rhythm is coming back and the game is more fun,'' Bryant said. ''Right now it's just important to establish a momentum, see if we can put together a nice little stretch.''

Bryant showed no ill effects from the pulled groin he sustained Friday against the Mavericks when he scored 21 points in the final 12 minutes.

He punctuated the victory Sunday with a driving dunk with four seconds left.

''My groin was pretty stiff when I went back in there for the last time. I couldn't really put it into fourth, fifth gear,'' Bryant said. ''Tonight was a game I was really worried about. It seemed I was able to play pretty well. My range of motion was pretty good.''

The Lakers' 27-point fourth-quarter rally was the second-biggest in NBA history. They've now won back-to-back games for just the third time this season. They'll go for three in a row Tuesday at Golden State.

O'Neal in particular was on his game early, scoring 16 points in the first quarter. It was one of his most productive outings since returning from foot surgery Nov. 22.

''It looks like he's getting himself in game shape. When you have a rest day between games it helps,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. ''Shaq was good and Kobe, at times, was terrific.''

Andrei Kirilenko scored a career-high 30 points and made all 10 of his free throws. Matt Harpring added 24 points for Utah, which had won nine of its previous 10 games.

''We couldn't have beat anyone the way we played,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. ''I thought we played unfairly for anyone who had to pay the money to come see us play.''

Karl Malone was held to 11 points on 3-for-16 shooting, four days after getting 29 points and 15 rebounds in a 93-85 victory over the Lakers in Salt Lake City. John Stockton had 13 points and 10 assists.

''It was a terrible start and then the second half we worked our way back into it and we just couldn't seem to ignite any real strong fires,'' Stockton said. ''They had a lead and they just played it out.''

Utah center Greg Ostertag was ejected two minutes into the game for arguing a non-call after he and O'Neal got tied up under the basket. He left the court kicking and screaming.

''I thought Greg got hammered on the shot and there was no call on it. Obviously, he was upset,'' said Sloan, who was ejected six minutes later for chirping at referee Derrick Stafford, who had tossed Ostertag.

''I sat there and got a little more upset when I thought about it. A lot of times the team is at a disadvantage because of me because I fight harder than I should. I feel like there is a responsibility. I get upset. I was very upset tonight,'' Sloan said.

The Lakers were vastly better than last Wednesday in Utah. In that game, they shot 35.7 percent, had 16 turnovers and scored just 13 points in the third quarter.

This time, they shot 50 percent, had 21 turnovers and maintained a comfortable double-digit lead for much of the second half.

''I liked our aggressive behavior. We got into this game immediately,'' Jackson said.

For just the second game this season, the Lakers had all of their top eight players available. Each of them saw at least 20 minutes of action, with Jackson going no more than three-deep on his bench.

''Phil is really starting to tighten up the rotation, go with guys that can execute the game plan and know exactly what he wants out there, so our rhythm is going to be a little bit better,'' Bryant said.

Game notes

Lakers forward-center Samaki Walker saw his first extensive playing time since returning Friday from a sore back. He had four points and six rebounds in 20 minutes. ... The season series is tied 1-1; the Lakers won it 3-1 last season. ... The last time Ostertag got ejected he kicked the ball into the stands on his way out Feb. 27, 2000, against Portland.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 101 110
FGM-FGA 33-77 (.429) 41-81 (.506)
3PM-3PA 7-10 (.700) 5-15 (.333)
FTM-FTA 28-30 (.933) 23-32 (.719)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-36 11-44
Assists 27 24
Turnovers 18 21
Steals 10 12
Blocks 2 4
Fast Break Points 8 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (4/0) 29 (2/0)

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Andrei Kirilenko Kirilenko
Points: 30
Reb: 8
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 1
Shaquille O'Neal O'Neal
Points: 32
Reb: 11
Ast: 3
Stl: 3
Blk: 3