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Los Angeles Lakers Finish Off Utah Jazz in Five

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts against the Utah Jazz in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Jazz 107-96 to win the series 4-1. 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)
Jeff LittleSenior Writer IMay 1, 2009


The Los Angeles Lakers as expected beat the Utah Jazz in Game Five. It was a closeout game for the Lakers who came out strong and played well early. The first quarter ended with the teams tied at 26. The Lakers took control of the game in the second quarter with an eight-0 scoring run.

Los Angeles had its offense working and the team proceeded to knock down shots, to be honest the starters were the ones that knocked down shots, the reserves weren’t as successful. The Lakers grabbed a lead in the second quarter that they wouldn’t relinquish.

Kobe Bryant leading the Lakers with 31 points set the tone early, Lamar Odom was extremely active filling out the stat sheet scoring 16 points, grabbing eight boards and also blocked a few shots in the first half he ended the game with 26 points.

The Lakers were able to increase the lead, said lead reached double-digits again and at halftime the lead stood at 13 points. The Lakers came out in the strong in the second half focused on ending this series tonight. It wasn’t the most impressive game but Los Angeles got the shots to fall when they needed them the most.

The Lakers were playing well maintaining their lead by getting the necessary stops, playing solid defense and most importantly controlling the boards.

The Lakers put forth a solid effort to end the Jazz season with their solid play in the third quarter increasing the lead to 19 points by the end of the third quarter. The Lakers would need that huge lead because the Lakers reserves came into the game and proceeded to shoot 4-for-20 from the field.

The reserves almost shot the Lakers into a Game Six back in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz had one last run left in them and put up a 13-0 scoring run, good enough to cut the Lakers lead down to six points. The effort also brought the Lakers starters back into the contest to finish off the Jazz.

The Lakers regained the momentum and control of the game for the 107-96 win that ended the series and the Utah Jazz season.

The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant all series and if not for a bad shooting night by him from the field and the entire team from the free throw line in Game Three this could’ve easily been a sweep. Lamar Odom’s activity was huge in this series; it has played a key role in the team’s success.

The activity and athleticism of the trio of Kobe, Lamar and Trevor has really propelled the Lakers all season and will continue to be a force in the remainder of the playoffs. The length and size of the Lakers and their ability to score are also huge factors in the team’s success.

The Lakers will have to clean up some things moving forward, defense, rebounding and maintaining leads. The Lakers await the winner of the Rockets vs. Trail Blazers series that could end Thursday night.

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