Lakers vs. Jazz: Lakers Beat the Jazz 119-109 to take a 2-0 series lead

Jeff LittleSenior Writer IApril 23, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 21:  Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball in front of Paul Millsap #24 of the Utah Jazz in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 21, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Lakers came out on fire in Game two and put on an excellent performance in the first quarter. Everything was going well from the start for Los Angeles as the Lakers shot 86-percent from the field on 18-21 shooting which including going four of five from behind the arc.

NBA basketball is a game of runs and the Lakers had more scoring runs than the Jazz. The Lakers used their size inside to their advantage with Pau Gasol & Andrew Bynum doing the damage early. The second unit entered the game toward the end of the second quarter and maintained the lead.

The Jazz didn’t go away and kept the game close throughout. Despite the hot start by the Lakers the Utah shot 56 percent from the field and ending the first half on a 9-0 run to cut their deficit to 11 points. The score at the half was 66-55 Lakers.

The Lakers were able to maintain that lead through the third quarter but things got very interesting in the fourth quarter. The Lakers started the quarter off with four fouls which immediately put them in the penalty and sent the Jazz to the charity stripe.

The Jazz continued to hang around as they had all game but in the quarter were able to cut the lead down to size, all the way down to six points. That was when Kobe Bryant took over to close the show and lead Los Angeles to a 2-0 series lead.

Deron Williams, Utah’s most dangerous player; was outstanding again scoring a career playoff high of 35 points. He is one of the best point guards in the league as evidenced by the fact that he either scored or set a teammate up to score for the second straight game.

The Lakers were able to hold serve on their home court. Their were positives and negatives for the team, on a positive note the Lakers shot 60-percent from the field, had seven players in double-figures, have won 12 of their last 13 playoff games and have beaten the Jazz 11 consecutive times in Los Angeles.

A negative note would have to be the Lakers have a total of 36 turnovers in the first two games of the series, allowed Utah to shoot 49-percent from the field. This series shifts to Salt Lake City for the next three games and the Jazz have been outstanding at home.

The Lakers have owned the Jazz in Los Angeles but that hasn’t been the case in Salt Lake City. The Lakers will have to play better defense and do a better job of taking care of the ball or this series can easily stretch longer than the Lakers want. Game Three will be Thursday Night April 23rd on TNT.