Kobe, Lakers visit Northwest Division-leading Utah
(Sports Network) – Two of the top teams in the Western Conference meet when
the Utah Jazz welcome the Los Angeles Lakers tonight to EnergySolutions Arena.
This is the third and final meeting of the regular season between the clubs.
The teams split the two previous contests.
The Lakers have lost two straight and five of their last six at Utah.
The Northwest Division-leading Jazz go for their third win in a row. Derek
Fisher scored 21 points on 8-of-11 from the field to lead a short-handed
Jazz squad to a 105-87 victory over the Boston Celtics at EnergySolutions
Gordan Giricek stepped up and contributed 16 points off the bench in the win
over Boston for the Jazz, who played without forward Andrei Kirilenko and All-
Star center Mehmet Okur. Kirilenko did not play due to a bruised left knee and
Okur missed his second straight contest with back spasms.
Carols Boozer contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, which has won
five of its last six games overall. Matt Harpring provided a spark off the
bench for the Jazz and ended with 15 points.
Kirilenko and Okur are both questionable for tonight’s contest. Okur is
averaging 18.4 points and 7.4 rebounds, while the athletic Kirilenko has
registered 8.8 points and 5.1 boards per game.
Utah, which has won six in a row on its homecourt, is an impressive 22-6 at
home this season. After tonight’s contest, the Jazz will embark on a three-
game road trip. They will visit Memphis, Minnesota and the Hornets.
The Lakers also try to pick up their third straight victory. Maurice Evans
poured in a career-high 26 points and superstar Kobe Bryant also netted 26 to
power the Lakers to a 102-85 victory over the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE
Brian Cook ended with 11 points for Los Angeles, which has won two in a row
after a six-game skid. The Lakers took advantage of poor shooting from the
Warriors to beat them for a seventh straight time.
LA is just 12-16 on the road this season. The Lakers will have some time off,
as they return to the court on March 2nd to host the Sacramento Kings at the