Yahoo: Just in case the Utah Jazz forgot how Kobe Bryant finishes games, he provided another painful playoff reminder.

Bryant scored 11 of his 31 points in the final four minutes, and the Los Angeles Lakers blew a fourth-quarter lead before rallying for a 104-99 victory over the Jazz in their second-round series opener Sunday.

Pau Gasol had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the top-seeded Lakers, who played a dismal final period before Bryant seized control. Last season’s NBA finals MVP coolly scored seven consecutive points to erase Utah’s four-point lead, followed by a dynamic slice through the lane for a layup with 22.6 seconds left.

The clubs are meeting in the postseason for the third consecutive year after the Lakers ended Utah’s last two seasons, including a first-round victory in 2009. In each of the teams’ previous five playoff meetings, the winner went on to the NBA finals.

Deron Williams scored 24 points for fifth-seeded Utah, which managed just one more field goal after taking a 93-89 lead with 4:10 to play. Utah has lost 15 straight to the Lakers at Staples Center, including seven playoff games.

Los Angeles will host Game 2 of the best-of-seven series on Tuesday night.

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  • jackmode211

    but his 30 point game days are over……im confused…

    • 242LakerFan

      I think they meant 30 pts per game…which is probably true. But he only needs 2 points to kill you, if it’s the last two of the game.

  • 242LakerFan

    I think it was very wise for Phil to keep Bynum’s minutes down in this one. I think we’ll need him more next round if the Spurs advance.
    I also liked the mention of the white t-shirts. Yeah, great idea, but not for L.A. Those kinds of promotional gimmicks go over much better in OKC and places where the fans are a little more “Rah Rah”. The Staples crowd is to “cool” to ever be seen wearing the same thing as the guy in the next seat, much less the other 20,000 seats.

    • Marwan Marzina

      More like the celebrities don’t wanna be seen wearing something that was given to them for free. They dont wanna hurt their ‘rep’.

      • Marwan Marzina

        ‘Damage their rep’ not ‘hurt their rep’

        • well

          Unless its free Nikes like those “Christmas Day” ZKIV ids over a year ago. But then again, they were given in limited numbers and only to tier seats.

  • tradesasha

    ron artest needs to shoot better in order for the lakers to be more dominant!!

  • KindSir

    I’m really getting tired of phils whole “let them figure it out themselves” bs. It nearly cost us the game today.

  • bostonSUCKS88

    that “bs” works. hes won 10 rings coaching like that. no reason to change

    • KindSir

      He’s also had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol on his teams… yea that kinda helps…How did giving up the lead work tonight? He should’ve just called the TO and put the starters back in as soon as it was apparent the bench was going to be useless in the 4th.

      • 242LakerFan

        3 other coaches had Kobe and Shaq too, and couldn’t win squat. Doug Collins had MJ before Phil and he won exactly nothing. I’m so sick of that straw man argument. You could have 5 all-stars and a coach who can’t get them to play as a team and I guarantee you’re not going to win a championship. Not in the NBA. The other teams have talented players, too, when you get to a Championship level.
        That’s a bunch of crap.

  • matthew

    i have a question for you laker fans. do u think bynum should just do what brandon roy did? just get the athroscopic surger (minor surgery) and come back within 10-14 days. what do u guys think?

    • 242LakerFan

      Nah, he played all last year with a similar injury, without effect. This is the Playoffs and there is no such thing as “minor” surgery. Anytime you stick a foreign object into the human body, the possibilities are endless. We don’t need 40 min. of Bynum to beat Utah, but we will need him against San Antonio, Boston, Orlando or Cleveland. He can go get cut in the off-season.

  • matthew

    oh aritee.. thanks for your input man.

  • Betto

    Lebron got another mvp trophie.. >.> There goes the nba giving it to a player who espn loves, that’s the reason they want Lebron to go to the NY Knicks. I don’t mind and Kobe doesn’t mind either, he got it last year and the Lakers got a tittle.. Sweet! It’s motivation to beat them if they reach the finals with the Lakers, so while Lebron wins mvp trophies, Kobe wins nba tittles, I think that’s a good way to go, MJ has more nba championship trophies than he has mvp trophies.

  • gugy

    Good game by the Lakers let the Jazz get too close at the end that turn out to be a bit scary.
    Hopefully next game will be a blowout.

  • justdogm1

    gasoft 25 and 12 best playoff numbers since shaq in 04…..GASOFT is the mvp of this playoff game.kobe out-done bye a white..ish guy on his own team.

  • seankobe

    In the 3rd quarter the game become a bit boring knowing that there is no way the jazz can compete in the game, or maybe it was played sunday afternoon (1:30 pm here in canada )that people should be taking a few sleep, or maybe I am just watching alone co’z my housemate doesn’t make sense about sports, but when the fourth qurtr starts with the bench and jazz make a comeback it turns me back focus in the game. I know the jazz has no match agains the lakers but this is about another hollywoood that the lakers makes it more exciting!!!