Jazz, Lakers try to get back on winning track
(Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz both try and get back
on the winning track, as the clubs square off tonight at the Staples Center.
This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the clubs. The
teams split a pair of contests at the Delta Center, while the Jazz beat the
Lakers, 98-94, on January 1st at the Staples Center.
Utah has won two straight and three of the last four meetings in this series.
The Jazz have won two of their last three at the Lakers.
The Jazz play the finale of a three-game road trip. On Saturday, Yao Ming
finished with 27 points, as the Houston Rockets defeated Utah, 102-88, at the
Milt Palacio equaled a career-high with 20 points in the loss to the Rockets
for Utah, which had a two-game winning streak halted. Mehmet Okur ended with
14 points and 11 rebounds, while Andrei Kirilenko and Devin Brown both netted
11 in defeat.
This is Utah’s final game before the All-Star break. The Jazz are 12-14 on the
road this season, and have dropped five of their last six as the visitor.
The Lakers play the second of a five-game homestand. Chucky Atkins scored 18
points and burned his old team by making a free throw with three seconds left,
to boost the Memphis Grizzlies to a 100-99 victory over the Lakers on Saturday
at the Staples Center.
Kobe Bryant tallied 26 points, but couldn’t get off a last-second shot, as Los
Angeles has lost five of its last six contests overall. Smush Parker ended
with 20 points, while Kwame Brown tied a season-best with 18 points and pulled
down eight rebounds in defeat.
Bryant has scored more than 20 points in 30 straight games. He is averaging
36.8 points per contest in his last 10 outings.
The Lakers are 12-9 as the host this season. They will host the Atlanta Hawks
on Wednesday in their final contest before the All-Star break. LA will also
play Portland and Sacramento on the current stand.