This is the third straight game at home in which the spread came down to the final minute.
Up 82-63 heading into the fourth quarter the Lakers looked to have the cover clinched, as Jerry Sloan put in his bench while the Lakers kept most of their starters in.
But sloppy play and several missed free throws put the Jazz within striking distance of covering the spread.
Then the final minute produced a see-saw battle for bettors on both sides.
1:09: Jerry Sloan ejected, Fisher hits free throw. Score 99-89
1:02: Gasol misses first free throw, then hits second. Score: 100-89
0:54: Gasol fouls Okur (with an 11 point lead??) Okur hits both free throws: Score 100-91
0:52: Gasol fouled and again misses a free throw going 1-for-2: Score 101-91
0:31: Korver misses a three-pointer, Fisher then fouled and sent to the line. Like Gasol, Fisher goes 1-for-2. Score 102-91
0:27: Korver hits a three-point shot, Fisher fouled again and this time he hits both free throws. Score 104-94
0:11: Odom dunks ball and is given one shot at the line. Score 106-94. With a chance to cover, he MISSES the free throw.
0:05: Ronnie Price (pictured above) attempts a dunk and is fouled. He is then given a Technical Foul for talking.
Fisher given free throw shot, he hits. Score: 107-94
Price given two shots, he hits both for the Utah Jazz cover. FINAL Score 107-96 Utah covers by one point
On the plus side for Lakers fans, the Jazz were kept to under 100 points meaning that for the first time in the playoffs the fans who paid top dollar for tickets were treated to two free tacos. This is important in this economy.
The Lakers finished the first round 3-2 ATS, meanwhile both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets are undefeated in the playoffs ATS at 4-0. As two-point underdogs, the Nuggets won game four in New Orleans 121-63, covering the spread by 60 points.
The author hopes that more people will bet on the NBA, as this type of exciting action happens every night.... when money is on the line. And in this economy, how can one not gamble?