Kobe Leads Lakers Over Jazz in Game 4
After taking 24 shots and making only 5 of them in Game 3, Kobe Bryant took the same amount of shots and made 16 of them to lead the Los Angeles Lakers over the Utah Jazz in Game 4. In their first round match-up in the NBA Playoffs, the Lakers now have taken a 3-1 edge over the Jazz.
Kobe’s scoring burst started in the first quarter where he scored the Lakers’ first 11 points. He continued his offensive display en route to 38 points and more than doubled his scoring output in the Lakers’ loss in Game 3. Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol both had double-doubles, with Odom getting 10 points and 15 boards and Gasol finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Coach Phil Jackson made some adjustments for this game. He started Odom at the power forward position and slid Gasol into center. Andrew Bynum, who started in the first three games of the series, was moved to the bench. Bynum had struggled in the post-season thus far, averaging 6 points and 3 rebounds, plus the foul trouble that had plagued him in Game 1 & Game 3.
For the Jazz, the return of center Mehmet Okur from injury did not help them at all– he did not score in the game and missed all his shots. Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer continued to buoy the Jazz, but they let the Lakers score 40 points in the second quarter and they were clamped down in the third. By the time the final quarter started, the Jazz were facing a 19-point deficit.
The series shifts back to Los Angeles for Game 5 on April 27. I have no doubt that the Lakers are looking to eliminate the Jazz on that game and, as past games in Staples Center would suggest, I believe they will do so.