Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum had a night to forget, as did the Lakers, in many ways.
Amid the din of the notoriously loud EnergySolutions Arena, the Utah Jazz showed there was some meaningful basketball left in a first-round series with the Lakers, delivering an 88-86 victory Thursday in Game 3.
Deron Williams scored on a 14-footer with 2.2 seconds left and the Jazz sliced the Lakers' lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Saturday at Utah.
An NBA team has never come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series, so Utah was wise to win before its chances evaporated into the thin Salt Lake air.
Bryant helped, making an abysmal five of 24 shots, as did Bynum, totaling four points and five fouls in seven minutes.
Jazz gets back in it with home win over Lakers
SALT LAKE CITY — Kobe Bryant didn’t really have a great explanation for his 5-for-24 shooting in the Game 3 loss.
“I just didn’t shoot the ball well, and … they did a good job mixing up their defense,” he said.
There’s no question that Utah’s big guys, especially, were more active in rushing out to the perimeter to stonewall Bryant. That left Bryant dribbling without making much headway toward the basket, which was the gist of the Lakers’ problems on offense: an inability to get stuff going inside when the jumpers weren’t falling.
“I got some good looks,” Bryant said of those jumpers. “It’s my responsibility to put the ball in the hole.”
Kobe missed seven consecutive shots in the second half
SALT LAKE CITY – The Lakers’ offense was stifled to a new low in this high altitude, so they tasted defeat for the first time this postseason here in Game 3 against Utah.
The Lakers had four assists in the first half. Their regular-season low for a game was 14. They finished with 15 assists.
Compare that to the 39 assists they had against Utah on April 14.
Game 3: Jazz 88, Lakers 86