NBA Game Summary - Utah at LA Lakers
(Tuesday, January 25th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 120, Utah 91
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant collected 21 points to lead a balanced scoring attack, and the Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a 120-91 victory over the Utah Jazz.
Pau Gasol scored 20 points and Andrew Bynum added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 62 percent from the field to win for the 10th time in their last 12 games.
LA had a successful start to a five-game homestand that will also include visits by the Kings, Celtics, Rockets and Spurs.
Deron Williams scored 17 points and C.J. Miles had 14, but the Jazz finished 0-5 on a disastrous road trip that also included losses in Washington, New Jersey, Boston and Philadelphia.
"We've just been struggling with everybody," said Williams. "We lack chemistry and continuity on offense and defense."
The Lakers had a season-high 34 assists Tuesday -- despite no one collecting more than Bryant's six.
Bryant entered the game needing 33 points to tie Hakeem Olajuwon for eighth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. He only managed to pull within 12 -- but the Lakers didn't need anything more from him.
"We just focused on our defense," said Bryant, "and having worked at it for a couple days, we were very sharp."
Derek Fisher opened the game with a three-pointer and LA never trailed, going ahead by as many as 17 points in the first quarter when Lamar Odom, who scored 17 in the game, buried a three to make it 37-20.
The Lakers carried a 37-22 lead into the second and built a 21-point lead 2 1/2 minutes in on Gasol's layup. They pushed their advantage as high as 28 twice -- the last time when Bryant hit a pair of free throws for a 66-38 advantage at the break.
LA shot 63 percent in the first half, with Bryant scoring 15 of his 21 points before the teams headed for their locker rooms.
Williams scored 12 of his 17 points in the third quarter and Utah put up a fight for the first time, matching the Lakers 27-27 in the frame. But all that meant was that the Lakers kept their lead at 28.
Bryant played nearly the entire third quarter, then sat on the bench for all 12 minutes of the fourth. Bynum, Fisher and fellow starter Ron Artest also sat out the fourth as the two-time defending champions cruised to victory.
The Jazz have lost nine straight and 10 of their last 11 games against the Lakers in Los Angeles...Utah shot 42 percent from the field...Fisher scored eight points and Artest had seven.
01/26 02:32:17 ET