Lakers playing in the moment

first_img“If I was feeling a little wimpish,” Bryant said, “I got a good dose of `Patton’ today on AMC. That knocked the yellowbelly right out of me.” It was not an easy night for Bryant. He suffered a hyperextended left elbow in the first half and donned an arm sleeve in the second quarter. His back tightened from the time in bed and he briefly headed to the locker room at the end of the third quarter. Bryant finished with 35points, making only 7 of 21shots, but subsisted at the foul line, where he went 21 of 24. Yet it was Bryant’s supporting cast that came up with the biggest plays down the stretch. Parker knocked down two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, the second breaking an 82-82 tie with 4:23 remaining. Odom followed by connecting on a 21-footer and the Lakers went into a timeout with 3:20 left leading 87-84. That set the stage for Evans, who scored just 10 points Monday. Evans finally broke through with a dunk off an Odom pass in the fourth quarter. Out of the timeout, though, Odom drew the defense and fired a pass to Evans alone at the 3-point arc. His shot was good all the way and the Lakers never looked back. Odom finished an assist shy of a triple-double with 19points, 14 rebounds and only one turnover. “Right now, I’m just in the zone of making plays for my teammates,” Odom said. “Sometimes that’s going to be just shooting the ball eight times.” (818) 713-3610 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SALT LAKE CITY – Back when his team was searching for an escape from a six-game losing streak, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he was waiting for a moment to arrive when his players would “play for each other and with each other.” Time will tell if Monday night’s 102-94 victory over the Utah Jazz was that moment, but the argument could be made after Lamar Odom, Smush Parker and Maurice Evans all delivered in the fourth quarter of a game Kobe Bryant was just trying to get through. The Lakers brought a 12-16 road record to a place where the Jazz had won 22 of 28 games this season and left with a victory. They did so as Bryant battled a sore throat that left him speaking to a crowd in almost a whisper afterward. If this was a playoff preview, the Lakers will remember the parade Bryant made to the foul line in the second quarter, when the crowd nearly booed the roof off the building. They will remember Odom’s finest game since returning from a knee injury. center_img They will remember the six3-pointers Parker made and the 24points he scored, including 13 in a first quarter when he couldn’t miss. And they will remember the 3-pointer Evans buried with 3:07 remaining in a game in which he made just two of 11 shots. It added up to the Lakers’ third victory in a row after the longest losing streak of Jackson’s career, and a question to Bryant about whether the coach’s mantra of “playing for one another” had taken hold. “We’re getting there,” Bryant said. “It’s understanding that your success individually is connected to the success of the team. It’s not about what you can do as individual players, but it’s what you can do with this puzzle that we have here.” Derek Fisher led Utah with 23 points – including a four-point play and 3-pointer late – but Mehmet Okur made just 3 of 19 shots. The Jazz had won eight of nine games, including two in a row with Carlos Boozer back from injury. Bryant complained before Sunday’s game against Golden State that he feared he was coming down with strep throat. He did not attend the morning shootaround and spent the day in bed, where he found inspiration in an unlikely source. last_img

Tagged: Tags

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *