Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/3

Game 1: Wednesday, November 3rd
Game 2: Monday, January 17th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 15th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 22nd

Jazz 102

(14-26, 6-16 away)

Lakers 94

(20-16, 13-7 home)

    Coverage: KJZZ

    7:30 PM ET, January 17, 2005

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 26 20 22 34102
    LAL 18 27 24 2594

    Top Performers

    UTAH: C. Boozer 18 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    LAL: C. Butler 26 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Jazz win for just 4th time in 18 games

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Raja Bell contributed very little during the first three quarters Monday night, playing nine minutes and scoring two points.

    In the final period, he took over the game.

    Bell shot 6-of-9 for 14 points in the fourth quarter, when reserves scored 28 of Utah's 34 points, and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Lakers 102-94 for just their fourth win in 18 games.

    "He came in strong. That's hard to do, when you're sitting on the bench," said Matt Harpring, who led the Jazz with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

    Bell capped his performance by making a 3-pointer from the left corner with 33.8 seconds remaining to give the Jazz a 98-92 lead.

    "We did some work against the zone in practice yesterday and in the shootaround today," Bell said. "I found myself open -- a lot. The point guards were finding me, the big men were finding me. We're showing signs of learning from our mistakes."

    Carlos Boozer added 18 points, Gordan Giricek scored 15 and Mehmet Okur had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Jazz (14-26).

    But Bell was the story of the game.

    "They figured out ways to score on our zone (defense), and Raja just kind of sat in that corner all night and fired away," Lakers center Chris Mihm said.

    "He was terrific," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "He moved well, he passed the ball well, he caught it and shot. He was on a roll and he got the kind of shots that he can make."

    The Jazz hope they've played their final game without All-Star Andrei Kirilenko. It appears they'll get him back Saturday night, when they return to action against Memphis.

    Kirilenko has missed 26 games since spraining a right knee ligament Nov. 27 against San Antonio. The Jazz are 6-20 without him, but have won three of their last five games, beating San Antonio, Phoenix and the Lakers.

    "Going into it, we didn't think we were going to lose this many games," Boozer said. "We have missed him. He's all over the court -- he's energetic, he blocks shots, he steals, he scores, he plays defense.

    "Watch out! We're going to have a big turnaround."

    There's also a possibility Jarron Collins will return Saturday night. He's been sidelined with a sprained ligament in his right knee.

    While the Jazz were getting a rare victory, the Lakers were missing another opportunity for a season-high three-game winning streak. They have won consecutive games eight times, but failed in each of those situations to win a third straight.

    "If you told me we weren't going to win three in a row, I'd tell you we'd be in the bottom of the barrel in the NBA," said Lamar Odom, who was held to 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. "Winning two games at a time and still be in the hunt, I would definitely laugh at you. But the point is, we're right there. If the playoffs started today, we'd be sixth."

    Caron Butler led the Lakers (20-16) with 26 points and six rebounds. Chucky Atkins scored 18 points and Brian Cook and Tierre Brown added 11 each. Cook also had nine rebounds in just 21 minutes.

    The Lakers played their second game without star Kobe Bryant, who sustained a severely sprained right ankle in the first quarter of a 98-94 victory over Cleveland last Thursday night.

    Team spokesman John Black said before the game that Bryant will be sidelined at least two more weeks, with no target date set for his return.

    Rookie Sasha Vujacic started in Bryant's place for the second straight game and scored seven points in a career-high 28 minutes.

    Howard Eisley scored five points during a 12-2 run that gave the Jazz an 86-80 lead with 4:41 remaining. Brown made a 3-pointer, but Bell's basket on a goaltending call against Cook made it 88-83 with 3½ minutes left.

    The Lakers drew within two points before Bell made a baseline jumper. Atkins made two free throws, but Raul Lopez made a 3-pointer with 1:35 left to give the Jazz a five-point lead.

    The Lakers drew within three before Bell made his big 3-pointer to clinch the victory.

    Butler scored nine points and Mihm added seven during a 22-11 run that gave the Lakers a 69-66 lead, and it was 69-68 entering the final period.

    Game notes

    The Lakers are the only NBA team with a winning record that hasn't had a three-game winning streak this season. The others teams without a three-game winning streak are Portland, New Jersey, Charlotte, Atlanta and New Orleans. ... The game was the first of nine straight for the Lakers at Staples Center, including a designated road game against the Clippers on Jan. 26. ... The Jazz snapped a seven-game losing streak at Staples Center. ... Lakers F Luke Walton didn't dress because of an upper respiratory infection.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 102 94
    FGM-FGA 41-87 (.471) 30-77 (.390)
    3PM-3PA 7-14 (.500) 8-28 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 13-15 (.867) 26-31 (.839)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-40 9-41
    Assists 28 21
    Turnovers 12 16
    Steals 8 5
    Blocks 5 5
    Fast Break Points 15 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 16 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 11 7

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Carlos Boozer Boozer
    Points: 18
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Caron Butler Butler
    Points: 26
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0