Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 11/24

Game 1: Friday, November 24th
Lakers108Final
Jazz114
Game 2: Thursday, November 30th
Jazz102Final
Lakers132
Game 3: Monday, February 26th
Lakers102Final
Jazz94

Lakers 102

(33-25, 13-16 away)

Jazz 94

(37-19, 22-7 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    7:00 PM ET, February 26, 2007

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 25 30 15 32102
    UTAH 20 30 20 2494

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: L. Odom 19 Pts, 14 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl

    Utah: D. Fisher 23 Pts, 2 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Lakers win third straight behind Bryant's sweet touch from line

    Associated Press

    SALT LAKE CITY -- Kobe Bryant's throat was sore and his back was tight. Good thing he was able to score most of his points standings still.

    Bryant made up for an off shooting night by making 21 free throws, scoring 35 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 102-94 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night.

    After losing six straight, the Lakers have won three in a row and again got help from somebody other than Bryant, who missed the shootaround and said he spent most of the day sick in bed.

    "We're getting there," Bryant said.

    Smush Parker added 24 points and Lamar Odom had 19 points and 14 rebounds. One day after scoring a career high 26, Maurice Evans added 10 points -- scoring seven in the fourth quarter.

    "We're starting to find some consistency in our offense and getting other people involved," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

    Bryant said his back tightened up throughout the game after spending most of the day in bed. His free throws appeared just fine, though, going 21-for-24, just two away from tying his own team record for foul shots made. He was 7-for-21 from the floor, but four of his field goals came in the fourth quarter as Bryant led the Lakers with 11 points.

    "He forced us to help in a lot of situations and Smush Parker was able to get a lot of open looks at the basket," said former Lakers guard Derek Fisher, who led the Jazz with 23 points and eight assists. "Defensively they are a tough team to match up against."

    Parker finished 6-for-8 on 3-pointers and Odom even stepped out for a 3-pointer for the Lakers.

    The Jazz were playing without guard Deron Williams, who missed his second game since the All-Star break with a strained groin.

    All-Star Mehmet Okur returned for Utah after missing two games with back spasms, but he had two points through three quarters and finished with nine. Okur was 1-for-4 on 3-pointers.

    Matt Harpring added 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Carlos Boozer finished with 13 points and nine rebounds for Utah, which was trying to take the season series from the Lakers for the second time in three years.

    Utah rallied after falling behind by 14 in the first half, but couldn't come back again when the Lakers went on a run late in the fourth quarter.

    "We were stagnant. We stopped running our plays," Harpring said. "We just got bogged down and we didn't make open shots."

    After Okur tied it at 82 on two free throws, Parker put the Lakers ahead for good with a 3-pointer that started the 12-2 run. Bryant punctuated it with a dunk off a miss by Evans to put the Lakers ahead 94-84 with 1:46 remaining.

    Fisher kept the Jazz alive with a four-point play, then a 3-pointer to cut it to 96-94 with 20 seconds left, but Utah had to foul and sent Bryant to the line again. Bryant made both, then Evans and Odom made two apiece to finish it.

    Game notes


    The Jazz were 18-for-26 from the line. ... Bryant also scored 52 in a 132-102 win over the Jazz on Nov. 30. ... Parker made his first five shots. ... The Jazz were 6-for-14 from 3-point range. ... Even without Williams, the Jazz finished with 24 assists to the Lakers' 16.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    LAL
    UTAH
    Points 102 94
    FGM-FGA 30-68 (.441) 35-86 (.407)
    3PM-3PA 10-22 (.455) 6-14 (.429)
    FTM-FTA 32-36 (.889) 18-26 (.692)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-41 17-42
    Assists 16 24
    Turnovers 12 9
    Steals 6 4
    Blocks 3 0
    Fast Break Points 2 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (1/0) 24 (3/0)
    Largest Lead 14 3

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Utah
    Lamar Odom Odom
    Points: 19
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Derek Fisher Fisher
    Points: 23
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0