Monday, April 27, 2009
Lakers – Jazz: Lakers led by Kobe’s big night blowout the Jazz 108-94
Prior to the start of Game 4 Kobe Bryant didn’t speak with the media, shake the hands of other players, or exchange any pleasantries he was all business. Kobe set the tone early and the Lakers followed their leader.
In the first two games of the series Kobe wore two hats, the facilitator early and the closer late. Big parts of the NBA Playoffs are about adjustments and swings in momentum.
In Game 3 the adjustments that the Jazz made were to throw double-teams at Kobe and trap him frequently, he couldn’t get into a rhythm and had his worse playoff shooting game since 2005 going 5-for-24 and finishing the game with 18 points.
In Game 4 Kobe had his mind made up that he was going to come out aggressive and look for his shot early and put the pressure on Utah’s defense. Kobe scored 13 of the Lakers first 15 points, but the Jazz ended the first quarter with a 25-20 lead.
The Lakers went on a 16-2 scoring run in the second quarter to take a seven point lead. Los Angeles increased the lead to 12 points; the Jazz cut the lead to seven points at halftime.
The ‘Black Mamba’ was on the attack and finished the first half with 24 points.After letting a winnable game 3 get away Los Angeles was determined to win this game and grab a stranglehold on the series.
The Lakers had a total team effort, got into the passing lanes and got their hands on several passes, played solid defense, knocked down timely shots and won the rebounding battle.
The second half was more of the same as the Lakers held onto the lead this time and put the Jazz away in the third quarter. The Jazz collectively hit a bad note and before they knew it were down by 19 points.
The Lakers were able to push the lead up to as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter.The Lakers will be prepared to do everything necessary to put the Jazz away in the closeout game.
By winning on the road in Game 4 the Lakers put the Jazz in a precarious position of winning a must-win Game 5 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles where they’ve lost the last 11 times. Game 5 will be on Monday April 27th on FSN & TNT.