The Lakers are in Salt Lake City, Utah to play the Jazz in game three of the series. The Lakers have owned the Jazz in Los Angeles but that hasn’t been the case in Utah. This is why this game becomes the most important game of the series.

The Lakers came up just short of their goal of acquiring the NBA’s best overall record but lost in that pursuit was the fact that the team earned the league’s best record on the road.

To be a champion you need to win on the road, also it has to be mentioned that the Jazz have the 5th best home record in the league. The Lakers have put their depth on display in the first two games and Kobe Bryant has worn two hats, facilitator early and closer late.

It has worked so well that it might not change however if the Lakers don’t shoot well no one will be opposed to seeing the black mamba on the attack and scoring 30+ points. The flow of the game and what the Utah defense does will determine if that will happen.

The Utah Jazz aren’t going to lie down, the Lakers need to put this team away. A win tonight will put the Jazz in dire straights and give L.A. a strangle-hold on the series.

“The series is not over. They just did what they were supposed to do – win at home,” Utah point guard Deron Williams said. “Now we’ve got to do what we’re supposed to do.”

A win tonight will make this a hallow claim. However, he is one of two Jazz players that have been outstanding, he has averaged 25.5 points & 13 assists, Carlos Boozer making amends for last season’s playoff showing against the Lakers, is averaging 23.5 points & 9.5 rebounds.

Expect both players to continue to play well. The task will be making sure that one of the reserves doesn’t have a hot shooting night. The Utah reserves play better at home than on the road and the entire team will playing with a high energy level. The Lakers will have to match that intensity to keep the Jazz at bay.

The Lakers need to do a better job of taking care of the ball; they’ve amassed 36 turnovers in the series. The Lakers need to control the tempo, glass, get back in transition and rotate out to three point shooters.

Establish Pau in the post and allow him to set the table for his teammates. The Lakers need to get Andrew going early as well. The Lakers need to improve defensively and limit the Jazz to one shot per possession. This will take the crowd out of the game and play to the Lakers strength.

Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: KCAL TV Channel 9 (Joel Myers & Stu Lanz) & TNT
  • Utah: FSN Utah (Craig Bolerjack & Ron Boone)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Utah: KFAN 1320 (“Hot” Rod Hundley )

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • None to report.

Jazz:

  • Mehmet Okur (Hamstring)
  • T. Franco

    Lakers -2 Nice!

  • Mamba24

    Lakers better be carefull in salt lake city it aint gone b easy !!

  • Mamba24

    GO LAKERSS !!!

  • kwame4mvp

    sasha needs to go.

  • LakersFirst

    The team is another year older and another year wiser. They went into Utah last year in playoffs and won, they went into San Antonio last year in the playoffs and won, heck they even went into Denver last year in the playoffsand won, and we all know what they did in Boston and Cleveland this year.

    The team has the experience to pull out wins anywhere in the NBA, that includes Salt Lake. They just have to keep their composure, stay close and then take over in the end.

  • kobe8

    If Kobe plays the same way he’s been playing the last 2 games, we will win but if he starts chucking we are f’d.

  • Lakezilla

    Can’t wait! I love road playoff games because they’re much more fun to watch. Its funny, all the media, jazz fans, jazz players and even some fickle Laker fans(alot on this site) are not giving the Lakers much of a chance. The best road team in the NBA has no chance of winning, imagine that…..lol. All the pressure is on the Jazz to win and u can see most of their players think its automatic because of their so called unbeatable home fortress. Just like Kobe said, noise doesn’t put the ball in the basket or hit clutch shots down the stretch. Oh yeah, we won twice up there last season (including the series clincher) and barely lost there by 4 points on the second of a back to back. The Lakers play much better on the road. I know they have a better home record but their level of play is much higher. So open a cold one or light one up, support your team and enjoy the show!

    Oh yeah and to all the fans who are looking for style points in the playoffs stfu. A win is a win. When the parade is going down Figueroa, I don’t think people are gonna whine about well we only won this game by 1 point or we had a 18 point lead and only won by 4 blah blah blah whine whine whine. Give me a break.

  • Anthony

    Can you already here those cheers when they grab a slight lead/come back? Ugh… I cringe at that thought. Hopefully if they do make an early run we’ll be able to stay calm and continue to play our game.

    I think we win this one. We’ve not won this kind of game all season, but it has to start sometime eh?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=684346052 Steve Bitter

    True the crowd in SLC is one of the most ruthless in the league, but the Lakers have shown that they show up to play the important/statement games. We might have given one away to Charlotte or Atlanta, but we’ve brought it against the big boys, the heavy weights. I look for the Lake Show to come out swinging tonight. I also look for Kobe to be more assertive from the beginning, in order to take the crowd out of the game early on. Our role players and bench are going to have to focus and at least put up decent numbers. Nothing spectacular is needed from the bench (although, it would be nice), but just to do what they are capable of doing. Lake Show in 5.

  • http://aol.com dave

    all the lakers gotta do tonight to win the ball game is play defense for 48 min…it’s that simple…it’s not like they can’t do it because they played a game like that in san antonio this year…they did it in boston, cleveland, houston, and dallas…but they gotta have that mindset again and go for it…i don’t care how bad we shoot the ball, but there is no way, and i said no way, that they can loose if they play defense consistently throughout the game…if u been watching them when they play D, they just look unbeatable…defense doesn’t require skills…u just do what u gotta do…the reason they give up those leads in games 1 and 2 is because they played good defense when they need to, and chill at times…

  • TFranco246

    I’m going to sharpen the bristles on the broom!

  • dEDGE

    I love Game 3’s on the road, because it gives us an opportunity to really see what the team is made of. Do they come out focused and strong, are they resilient or bend to the pressure? Even in previous playoff road losses, the Lakers have shown what their state-of-mind is and have usually prevailed in the end. Win or lose, it is important that we are continually making strides towards improvement so that we are playing at peak performance in June.

  • Lakerfan_InAtl

    Let’s get it.. if we can win tonight it’s a wrap.

  • WifelovesLuke

    “A series does not begin until a team loses on it’s home court”- George Karl. Well Georgie, boy. I argue that when the Jazz lose on their floor tonight, the series is OVER!

    Okur is not playing. That means Pau, Odom and Bynum can stay in the paint all game long. Take the ball out of D Williams hands and the game is ours. PERIOD!

  • mr.clutch101

    Im preparing for a loss.

    The Lakers have to play tougher on the road than they do @ home, I just hope they have that mind set of when they went 6-0 on the road earlier this year.
    Play defense, rebound, and dont turn the ball over.

  • doodlebobin

    Remember these happen last yr in Utah

  • desecrator09

    All we have to do is bring the right mind-set especially on defense, for the entire game and there is NO WAY Utah will beat us. By the way, the problem we have with our pick-and-roll defense is that our bigs DONT FREAKING HEDGE on the point guard!! I promise you guys, if our bigs start doing that on EVERY pick, you will see our defense improve dramatically.

  • dracul

    The Lakers legitimately lost 1 game at Utah last year, and the only reason that Utah even won a 2nd game was because Kobe gimped his back and PJ for some odd reason kept him in, eventhough it was obvious he wouldn’t jump and was in pain. He turn the ball over a couple of times when he could barely get off the ground.

    So i expect the Jazz to win one game, but no more than that. Usually the first game on the opponents floor is an auto-loss – they have the home court, self-respect to save and desperation, so that one is hard to win. However, the 2nd game on the opponents floor is anybodys, because the home team is less desperate, and the away team is in sync with the timezone and the crowd/arena.

    My prediction is, unless something extraneous happens, lakers will lose on thursday and win on saturday and wrap it up at home.

    -Dracul

  • kwame4life_hasnolife

    [Comment ID #68865 Will Be Quoted Here]

    if you died no one would care

  • lafanfromindiana

    I see us losing tonight.

  • Big Phil

    mid 2nd quarter…not liking what i see…pau playing like a pu_sY on the defensive end, especially rebounding. he looks like he’s afraid to get hit. Where’s the the player leadership so far to get into the players’ faces and play some f_kin defense and urgency.

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    Gasoft is playing like melted butter!

  • Big Phil

    GO AFTER THE F$CKIN A$$ REBOUNDS DAMNIT!!!! STOP WAITING FOR THE REBOUND TO COME TO U MUTHAF0CKERS!

  • Bitch Slap Luke

    With Puke and Vujabrick in the game, we lose the damn lead. Please trade these two when the season is over. I hate Luke the Puke; he should go hide in the little girl’s bathroom stall for letting Harpring beat his ass.

  • Mike

    Smushes of the Day:
    - Kobe (yes, believe or not…he took way too many forced shots in double and triple teams)
    - Bynum (playing like a rook)

    Gasol is Boozer’s bitch.

    After 3 playoff games, Lakers are still not playing like a championship team. I see the same soft team from last year. Poor defense. Terrible bench players (Farmar, Fluke, and Vujacic). Another game in which they give up a sizable lead. Utah has to feel good about themselves. They nearly came back and almost won Game 2. Right now, any other playoff team has a chance of knocking off the Lakers.

  • Mike

    Gasol is Boozer’s B1tch.

  • Jason

    I can’t believe the best shot we could get was a contested 25 footer? Horrible last second shot.

    I expected Utah to win this game, they’re an excellent team but jesus fkin chriist the game was ours to win and we let it go. Lakers in 5 as I’ve said all along but you can’t let to many of these games slip away.

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    It’s disgusting having to watch men play like women trying to avoid breaking a nail… Need I say who she is?

  • Mike

    [Comment ID #68933 Will Be Quoted Here] Gasol is bending over, spreading his a$$ wide, and letting Boozer have his way. F@ck man, muscle and go after and grab the rebounds. Play some f@ckin defense, block out. Cut Fluke and Vujabrick out of the playoff roster…whenever any combination of those two + Farmass come in, we lose the lead.

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    Luke Walton is completely useless when teamed up with lesser players… In fact, he is an asset to the other team when this happens… Why is old man Jackson completely blind about this? Could Walton be a Jeannie substitude for the road?

  • Smush Walton

    Boozer abused Gasol tonight.
    How many freethrows did Pau miss tonight? He was just out of it all game long.

    We have got to get rid of Puke, Vujabrick and Fartmore. They are absolutely WORTHLESS!

  • Mike

    [Comment ID #68936 Will Be Quoted Here]

    How can you not get so pissed watching the game?! Here we have a 14 pt lead…in comes Puke and Vujabrick…two guys who add no value whatsover…how many times did Harpring run around and shoot over Puke?! Does Gasol need a kick in the nuts to make him realize he’s a man?

  • Smush Walton

    What was Kobe from the floor? 5 for 24?

    So much for the greatest closer! Not exactly an MVP Performance. Better luck next game.

  • gugy

    I will try to be positive and expect that this lost was a good thing for the Lakers.
    truth the matter is the Lakers were bored in the first two games at home and did not play with the same level of intensity during the WHOLE game.
    It almost feel they are complacent and not trying really that hard. Not that hungry.
    Everybody knew it would not be a sweep against Utah.
    I hope this loss will motivate our team to play with heart and determination and bag The Jazz next game and finish this thing on Staples at game 5.
    We need to bring heart back to the playoffs. Play with determination and intensity. If not we might encounter the same situation again like tonight.
    Go LAkers!

  • Smush Walton

    [Comment ID #68938 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Why does Phil keep playing Puke and Vujabrick? They both suck donkey balls.

    At least Fartmore didn’t get off of the bench. These three knuckleheads HAVE GOT TO GO!

  • Big Phil

    I F@CKIN HATE LUKE WALTON…ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY, UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, UNBELIEVABLY USELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, at least Phil did not play Farmer. He should’ve played DJ Mbenga on Boozer. DJ would’ve given more effort on defense and rebounding than Pau.

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    …Man, it’s disgusting to see Boozer bully & intimidate Pau as he uses his well & aggressively placed elbows to Pau’s gut as he drives to the hole on offense, while shoving Pau around like a rag-fvckin-doll on the defensive side!
    …Pau is always seen crying to the refs like a “Maricon” afraid to confront his butch girl friend!
    FREAKIN DISGUSTING!