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NBA -- Slumping Lakers dump Jazz, 102-84


PhilBoxing.com




SAN FRANCISCO -- The Los Angeles Lakers used an unlikely weapon to get out a bitter slump, a consistent passing attack that produced 26 assists. It was more than enough to beat the visiting Utah Jazz Friday night at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, 102-84.

"I thought the energy was great, the sharing of the ball," a relieved L.A. Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni told NBA.com after the his team snapped a four-game losing streak.

Even with the win, though, the 18-25 Lakers are still 11th place in the Western Conference, three places away from a playoffs berth. Los Angeles is a full four games behind the Houston Rockets for the 8th and final playoffs spot in the talent-rich West.

Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace each had 17 points apiece and combined for 18 rebounds to spearhead the Lakers offense. Paul Gasol had 15 points and seven rebounds while Steve Nash also had 15 and a pair of assists. Kobe Bryant had a quiet 14 points on 7-for-10 shooting, but the Lakers' captain delivered a monstrous 14 assists.

The Lakers started good, leading 26-19 after one quarter, and they finished even better by outscoring the Jazz 30-21 in the final quarter. The Lakers ended up making 43 of their 80 field goals (53.8 percent) including nine of 21 triples (42.9 percent)

The Utah Jazz, who remained at 7th place in the Western Conference at 23-20, were led by reserve Derrick Favors' 14 points and five rebounds. Gordon Hayward added 13 while center Al Jefferson chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds. Utah's starting guards -- Marvin Williams and Jamaal Tinsley -- combined for 13 points and seven assists.

"We have to understand how we have to play against a team that's playing physical like they are and be ready to go again tomorrow night. It's going to be a tough one against Indiana, "Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin said. (JSM)

Photo: Lakers big man Dwight Howard (left) fashioned out one his better performances of the season (17 points and 13 rebounds) as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 102-84 victory over the Utah Jazz at Staples Center.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joan Secuya-Medida.


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