TLN’s Postgame Report: Lakers @ Jazz – Malfunction Junction (96-102, Loss)

Getty Images | Photograph by Jonathan Ferrey

The shot clocks at Energy Solutions Arena weren’t the only things broken in this game. Number one in the league from 3PT, the Lakers shot just 4-15 from behind the arc tonight, scored 33 points on 68% shooting in the first quarter but got outscored 29-17 in the second and shot just 42% for the game. The Laker bench couldn’t buy a hoop going just 5-21 from the field, and the defense by the visiting team? Porous, slow and disconnected.

The Lakers led by as many as 19 points in the second quarter, getting practically everything they wanted on both ends of the floor. Lamar Odom (16 points on 5-8, 10 rebounds, five assists) dribbled from Utah’s basket to the Lakers’ hoop numerous times, meeting little to no resistance. Neither Paul Millsap nor Andrei Kirilenko could stop him and he knew it, but he scored eight points in the first quarter, yet only eight points across the final 36 minutes. His defense on Millsap was solid early on, and he drew two fouls on the Jazz forward early in the first quarter to take him out of the game, but he lost sight of or stopped accounting for Kirilenko often enough and got burned when he did.

Pau Gasol was brilliant offensively again, 21 points on 9-14 shooting and he also collected 11 rebounds and handed out four assists. His defense, however, is still lacking stability. As a center, his job is to protect the paint, be the last line of defense – contest shots, box out, rebound etc. Gasol had one block today and he met an oncoming Deron Williams (29 points on 10-14, 12 assists) throughout the course of the game but failed each and every time to hinder the Jazz guard even a smidge. Yes, Williams’ floaters are near impossible to contest without the possibility of getting called for a goal tend, but an underhanded scoop shot from under the hoop? That should’ve been met with some resistance and it wasn’t.

The Lakers’ reserves, who have been contributing consistently lately, had a less than stellar game…ok, they were pretty awful, probably the least productive than they have been all season. After shooting the lights out against Chicago, Steve Blake went 0-4 from 3PT, 0-7 from the field and Shannon Brown was just 2-8 from the field. Matt Barnes, the only productive reserve for the Lakers, managed to get eight points on 3-6 and five rebounds in just over 20 minutes of play.

Kobe Bryant wasn’t having his most efficient shooting night…until the fourth quarter. With the Lakers trailing 85-82, Bryant went to work, hitting two from downtown, which he followed with a stepback fadeaway over Raja Bell, which he followed with another three, which he followed with three free throws after he was fouled by Kirilenko. In less than three minutes, Bryant outscored the Jazz 14-6, giving the Lakers a 96-91 lead with two and a half minutes to play.

To leave with a win, all the Lakers had to do was play lockdown defense for 2:32 and try to build on that five point lead that Bryant created. They did neither, failing to defend Williams behind the three-point line and then turning the ball over and letting Raja Bell get out for an uncontested layup. After Bryant went on his 14-point tirade, the Lakers were outscored 11-0 and left Energy Solutions Arena with their third loss of the season.

Aside from the lack of bench contribution, an off shooting night from three, and the still inconsistent defense, offensive rebounding was a problem for the Lakers tonight. Of the Lakers’ 38 rebounds, only nine were offensive, costing numerous second chances to score after coming up empty on so many possessions and the Lakers came up empty often Of the Jazz’s 42 rebounds, 36 were defensive!

Large leads are never safe in the NBA, especially in the first quarter and especially not against the Utah Jazz. It’s a game that the Lakers could have won, but they move on to Indiana for Sunday’s game.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts:
Energy Solutions Arena, one of the hardest places to play for visiting teams. Tonight won’t be easy for the Lakers, but surely they’re up for the challenge.
Half-time Thoughts: 50-46 – The Lakers led by as many as 19 points but failed to maintain their momentum, allowing the Jazz bench to erase all but a four-point advantage.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: The Renegades have been playing and contributing so well that they’ve rarely been seen in this category, but tonight there was no denying that their lack of production hurt the team’s chance to win tonight. The shot just 5-21 from the field, Steve Blake went 0-7 and that 19-point lead disappeared partly when they had come in to replace the starters.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Kobe Bryant – To come back into the game in the fourth quarter and just score 14 points in a row is amazing. He singlehandedly outscored the Jazz 14-6. It’s a shame his teammates couldn’t help him close it out.

Anna Gonda has been the post-game editor for LakerNation.com since the 2009-2010 season. Between post-game reports, she's a full-time advertising coordinator for an academic publisher and a part-time photographer. Favorite Lakers: Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher. Favorite Laker Moment: Game 7, 2010 Finals against the Boston Celtics.
  • Robert.

    Oh well. They could have won the game too. The shot clock problems changed the rhythm a little at the end, but you know, one can say that’s no excuse.
    .
    Remember that Bynum is out, and so in the future, the games will probably not be that close.
    .
    Kobe’s 14 point run within a few minutes was magnificent – a work of art. He is still injured (the announcers commented that he is more likely to create post-up plays, because his leg still hasn’t completely healed. We just don’t hear him talking about it much.
    .
    Anyway, the good thing I took away from this game is that I don’t perceive the Jazz to be a threat to the Lakers, even though we lost. I haven’t seen a team yet, that the Lakers have played, that have ‘truly’ challenged them. We’ll see how it goes with the heat, Celtics, Magic.
    .
    Oh, one more thing — Anna, is the name Renegades really gonna stick? instead of Killer B’s. I think LO prefers the latter, and I also hear the announcers using Killer B’s. What do you think?

    • gameplan

      Renegades was named by phil. so we have to stick with it. De javu is it? after loosing to denver by blowing the leads, we lost to suns the next games. Hope the pacers won’t go lucky again, they already blows denver and the big three. Not afraid of the pacers but lakers inconsistency here we go again!

      • Genius

        why is phil calling them RENEGADES !? i dont get it lol

    • Anna

      All the commentators and media refer to them as Renegades so I have a feeling it’ll stick. Killer B’s only refer to Blake, Barnes and Brown though. If the other bench guys play though, Renegades would apply I suppose.

  • gameplan

    Oh by the way I have the feeling that the lakers will lose this game, as they show no defense on d.rose last game, and d will is better than rose. Is the lakers becoming the miami who can’t guard the point?

    • Genius

      eversince lakers had trouble guarding fast PG,,you can check there history,,

  • Genius

    14 point run by KOBE was brilliant,,like i predicted,,the lakers had 40% chance on losing to jazz and they did,,we cant say that we lose cuz bynum is out,,well OKUR is also out for them,,but jazz bench sucks,,even if you put millsap or jefferson or okur in that bench,,but somehow they are finding a way to win,,good coaching by sloan

    • gameplan

      we have 7 footer in pau, and 6’10 odom, but the jazz and denver is enough more physical in the middle. Another loss in rebounding. Pau’s rebounding is overrated.

  • sam30

    The 14-point run by Kobe was indeed a brilliant thing to watch, but the way the Lakers evaporated when Gasol came off in the 2nd was really disheartening. Taking it inside against the Jazz early on was REALLY working, but then as soon as the bench came in, a bunch of half-hearted, contested jumpers. The return of Bynum and Ratliff will hopefully sort this problem out, as it looked like the second unit just lacked the size and muscle to combat the physicality (and collapsing defense) of the Jazz.

    • Genius

      the way i see it,,i think ratliff is no help for lakers,,i rather play caracter than him,,we should have took dampier mannn,,or lets go trade for jason thompson of the kings,,

  • rondo

    The timekeepers need a raise after robbing the Lakers of their run.

  • laker warrior

    That game was a total shame. The Jazz got all the calls not to mention the time keeper totally fucking up the flow. In the last sequence with seconds left Pau was posted up ready to score and Fish was ready to pass the ball and the ref stoped the game. Because the clock was wrong. Then Ron Ron missed that shot game over.
    Phil knew it was a fucked game he just basically said fuck it.
    Utah can only win cheating. Bynum comes back look out league. Bynum Odom Pau Kobe fish starting Five or Ron
    VERY SCARY.

  • the lakers rock!!!!!!

    brothers, this is no need for concern, the lakers are not a 100% as of yet, we have no bynum which will make the team way better on the defensive end. no team has still dominated the lakers, this is a long season and they will lose some games, every time they lose it does’nt mean there’s a problem with them.

  • pauer

    I hope this is the most pathetic loss of the season. There is absolutely no excuse for loosing a 19 point lead. Only scoring 6 points in 6 minutes in the 2nd quarter was the reason we lost.

    Not having Bynum means nothing, they didnt have Okur either. We should have been able to win this game without him, just like the other 13 games.

    Hopefully the Lakers will turn it on the whole game next time around instead of just coasting along after a big lead.

  • Robert.

    This is actually good news. The rest of the NBA realizes that they can’t stop the Lakers, so they have to resort to ‘tricks’ to garner a win, like rigging the time clock, etc.
    .
    It’s gonna take more than that. The Lakers are ready for ‘ref calls’ too. It seems to be going ok so far (although, there were a few ‘extra’ calls on Fish last night – probably because the Jazz crowd is still upset at his departure – and the T on LO a week or so back that seemed unnecessary, but generally all has been fair in the NBA, for now).

  • LeaderFish

    I wouldn’t blame the shot clock for this loss nor would I blame the refs in the future despite mistakes they make. They make mistakes against the other team also.

    • sam30

      Agree here.
      I’m also liking that despite the HUGE amount of shots the Lakers missed (once the Jazz were in striking distance), the Jazz weren’t able to build up a sizable lead at any point in the game. We shot horribly and were still there right until the death.

  • laffs atu.

    Nothing makes me more sick than to see Jazz fans celebrate as if they won it all. I was expecting a trophy presentation after the game, from seeing how they were acting. Jazz fans can stick this win up where the sun don’t shine! Remember Jazz fans, you have to win 82 games plus post season games to become NBA Champs morons! Go Lakers!

  • SHOWTIME4EVA

    Kobe showed life,that was important.the Jazz played well.I know we can beat them when it matters,we seen the complete Jazz game now,they should not have much that will surprise us come post season. off the subject now,for the most part I don’t care much for bleacher report but this article was GOOD. check it out! http://bleacherreport.com/articles/527324-los-angeles-lakers-ultimate-highlight-reel-kobe-bryant-and-friends#page/1

  • Lakersno834

    0 victories against good teams this year. It should sound alarms all over.

    • Lakers4life

      That’s what I’m thinking…we did this last year. Inconsistent, no sense of urgency. The bench let us down this time. But, what I want to know is, why is D. Fish a starter?! I love him, but he’s too slow and his shots are 90% bricks. Come on, train someone else to run the point.

      • Lakersno834

        I agree with you to a certain extent. But Fish knows triangle better than anyone except kobe in the team. Fish used to knock down a lot of 3s and open shots last year. This year he has been struggling so far. As long as Phil is running this team, Fish will be the starter. Blake has been inconsistent as well. 2nd unit does not run the offense. Brown, Barnes and Blake are too unstable most of the times. Relying on wild jump shots and 3 pointers. No backup center right now is taking a toll on Pau. Just need to look at a Big picture and not at the record. Cuz Spurs and Hornets and now Mavs are beating top teams in the NBA. Lakers have yet to do that.

        • LeaderFish

          I think Fish knows it better than Kobe. Kobe is a more one on one player while Fish needs to follow the triangle system.

      • Fisher02

        Fish is shooting the highest percentage of his career from the 3 point line. His averages in every area have improved from last year. Blake brings a spark of energy off of the bench that Fish cannot bring. Fish leads and Blake brings the energy. Simple as that.

  • http://THELAKERSNATION BIGDUBB88

    THIS IS wHY kOBE IS kOBE …….AND Ron Ron is who he is. Instead of thinking about playing Football with T .O. he should be out there trying to make an automatic open 3pt set shot! if Kobe had that shot to take we’re going home a winner! But we have all season and Kobe gonna krack that Whip I’d betcha or some feelin gonna be hurt.

    • LeaderFish

      Don’t forget Kobe has Ron to thank for his 5th ring. Remember game 7? He bailed Kobe out in that game.

    • daboss1848

      statistics show that Kobe only hits on 25% (league avg. is 30%) of shots with 24 seconds or less left in the game, when Lakers are either tied or down by 1 to 2 points.
      .
      PO hes at 50% (league avg is 28%)
      .
      (from ’03 -’09)

      • LeaderFish

        Kobe is clutch. No doubt about it. The only real knock on him is his shooting percentage the rest of the game. Playoff time Jordan shoots 49% to Kobe’s 45. Another factor why as great as Kobe is he is not on the same level as Mike.

    • http://THELAKERSNATION BIGDUBB88

      ….And how many times have Kobe saved (and burned) Ron Ron over the past Seasons,that Ron had to join Kobe to get a first ring. Statistics Tells Me that Kobe Was the biggest and most common denominator in those Five Championship rings or else Phoenix or Orlando would had least 1 of those rings. All i’m sayin is that Mike wouldn’t let Kerr get away with that *7it!

      • daboss1848

        “get away with” missing? Kerr shot 100%?

      • LeaderFish

        Kobe needs Ron. Ron needs Kobe. The fact remains without Ron Kobe would have 4 rings right now and without Kobe Ron would have 0 rings. Shaq was the engine in the first three so lets not forget the Diesel though many fans have.

        As far as Mike is concerned he never let his team get to a game 7 in the finals which is just another point that he is the greatest of all time.

    • daboss1848

      well BIGDUB, KB did have that shot tonight against the Pacers and . . . (same result)

  • http://TextingistheFuture.com TextMarketing

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