Bryant’s free throw shooting helps Lakers down Utah
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant scored 21 of his 35 points
at the free throw line, lifting the Los Angeles Lakers over the Utah Jazz,
102-94, at EnergySolutions Arena.
Smush Parker added 24 points and Lamar Odom had 19 points, 14 rebounds and
nine assists for the Lakers, who have won three straight, including two road
games on consecutive nights.
Derek Fisher had 23 points and eight assists to lead Utah, which had a two-
game win streak halted. Matt Harpring added 14 points and Carlos Boozer had 13
points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who played without their starting point
guard Deron Williams.
Williams is suffering from a right wrist and groin injuries and his absence
was felt down the stretch.
With the game tied at 78, Parker put the Lakers ahead with a three-pointer
near the six-minute mark. Then, leading 85-84, Los Angeles ran off nine
straight points to take a 10-point lead. Odom scored four points during the
surge, which Bryant ended with one of only seven of his field goals from the
field for a 94-84 lead.
Utah later drew within 97-94 after Fisher connected on a three-pointer with
20.4 seconds left, but that was as close as the Jazz could get. LA hit all six
free throws down the stretch and LA escaped with the win.
Andrei Kirilenko and Gordan Giricek each had 12 points for the Jazz, who
trailed 25-20 after one quarter and 55-50 going into halftime. LA, though,
scored just 15 third-quarter points and Utah went into the fourth tied at 70.
Bryant ended 21-of-24 at the line…LA shot 32-of-36 from the charity stripe
for the game…Utah hit 18-of-26 free throws…LA has won two of the three
meetings so far this season against Utah…The Jazz fell to 22-7 at home…LA
improved to 13-16 at home.