Turning Off the Jazz
The Lakers came into Utah tonight one win away from sweeping the Jazz and advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the third consecutive year. Los Angeles came out hot and jumped out to a 22 point lead in the second quarter and were hitting on all cylinders. Utah came back and cut the lead in the third to five before the Lakers turned the heat back on and ran away with a 15 point victory.
Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol led the Los Angeles onslaught tonight, ensuring the Lakers a week of rest before they open up their Conference Finals with the Phoenix Suns next Monday. Lamar Odom led the bench with energy and aggressive play, and was +30 for the Lakers tonight. Gasol put up 33 points along with 14 rebounds, and Kobe Bryant added 32 points and 4 assists.
The Lakers will now enjoy the week and use it to rest up and get healthy for the high-tempo, high-energy Phoenix Suns. This will be the first meeting in the playoffs since Phoenix eliminated the Lakers in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007.