NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Utah
(Tuesday, March 22nd)
Final Score: Utah 115, LA Lakers 107
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Mehmet Okur matched a career-high with 27 points and pulled down 16 rebounds as Utah snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 115-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Delta Center.
Matt Harpring added 23 points and Gordan Giricek had 22 for the Jazz, who outscored the Lakers 17-7 over the final five minutes to break their lengthy slide. Andrei Kirilenko contributed 18 points off the bench in the win.
Kobe Bryant finished with 43 points for Los Angeles, but only four came in the fourth quarter as the Lakers continue to play themselves out of the playoff race with their sixth consecutive setback. Los Angeles, which carried a six- point lead into the final period, received 17 points from both Chucky Atkins and Jumaine Jones in the loss.
Utah shot a sizzling 59 percent from the field and sank 24-of-27 foul shots. Okur made 7-of-8 field goal attempts and finished 11-of-12 from the line, Harpring hit 10-of-12 shots from the floor and Kirilenko was 6-of-8.
The Lakers were up 88-82 after three quarters and held an eight-point cushion after Tierre Brown's layup to start the fourth. However, a 10-2 Utah run ending with Harpring's three-point play with 7:45 remaining would stake the hosts to a 94-93 lead.
Los Angeles would move back in front and was ahead 100-98 after Atkins hit two free throws with 5:13 to go. Giricek then buried an outside jumper on the ensuing possession to tie the game and the Jazz forged back ahead on Keith McLeod's basket with four minutes remaining.
Another three-point play by Harpring put Utah up 105-101 heading into the final three minutes and it remained a four-point affair with a minute to go. After Kirilenko hit 1-of-2 from the line, McLeod made two foul shots for a seven-point lead.
Okur then sealed the win with a three-pointer with 21 seconds left which put Utah up 115-105.
The Jazz built a 41-33 lead midway through the second quarter following a 7-0 run which began with Kirilenko's three-pointer at the 7:43 mark. Los Angeles would later counter with 10 straight points, culminating with back-to-back threes by Bryant, to move ahead 46-43 with under four minutes remaining before intermission.
The game remained tight through the remainder of the first half and featured an exciting final minute. Howard Eisley's three-pointer put Utah on top 53-52 with 33 seconds to go, but Bryant answered with a triple with 10 seconds on the clock to give Los Angeles a two-point edge. Eisley then sank a jumper right before the buzzer for a 55-55 tie at the break.
Bryant poured in 25 points on 9-of 11 shooting, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, during the first half. He would make just 2-of-9 shots and missed all four of his three-point attempts in the fourth quarter.
Giricek scored 10 points in the game's opening six minutes to help the Jazz take a 27-20 lead late in the first quarter. The Lakers then embarked on a 9-2 run capped by Jones' three-pointer with 1:22 elapsed in the second to knot the score at 29-29.
Los Angeles forward Lamar Odom missed his second straight game with a slight tear in his left shoulder...Okur also had 27 points against Toronto on January 14, 2004 while a member of the Detroit Pistons...The Lakers fell 4 1/2 games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference...Utah defeated Los Angeles in three of the four meetings this year, including a 104-78 decision at the Delta Center in the season opener.
03/23 00:07:45 ET