NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 11th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (42-9) at Utah Jazz (29-23), 9:00 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The streaking Los Angeles Lakers aim for a season-high eighth consecutive win in their final game before the All-Star break when they take on the Utah Jazz at EnegrySolutions Arena tonight.
The Lakers earned their seventh straight triumph on Tuesday in Hollywood when Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to reach the 23,000- point plateau, as part of a 34-point, seven-rebound performance in LA's 105-98 workmanlike win over Oklahoma City.
Bryant reached 23,000 points with 5:13 left in the second quarter, becoming the youngest player to reach the mark by five days over the legendary Wilt Chamberlain.
Pau Gasol added 22 points with 14 rebounds and Lamar Odom netted 12 points for the red-hot Lakers, who have won 11 of 12 overall and sport the league's best overall record at 42-9.
The Jazz, who will be kicking off a five-game homestand Wednesday, lost for the first time in four games in Oakland on Sunday when Stephen Jackson scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out eight assists, and was one of seven Warriors in double figures, as Golden State crushed Utah, 116-96.
Deron Williams finished with 31 points and 10 helpers for the Jazz in the loss. Mehmet Okur gave 21 points and nine boards while C.J. Miles had 10 points in defeat.
Star forwards Carlos Boozer (left knee) and Andrei Kirilenko (right ankle) remain on the sidelines for the defending Northwest Division champion Jazz, but Jerry Sloan hopes to have both players back shortly after the All-Star break.
Utah will finish its residency with games against Memphis, Boston, New Orleans and Atlanta when play resumes after the break.
LA was coming off a perfect six-game road trip before downing Oklahoma City and is 18-5 as the visitor this year. The Lakers have won three straight and six of its last seven meetings with the Jazz, including a 113-100 win at Staples Center on January 2.
As usual Utah has been a much tougher team in Salt Lake City, however. The Jazz are a solid 20-6 at EnegrySolutions Arena versus 9-17 on the road.
02/11 10:33:44 ET