Game 3 Recap — The View from Utah...

Well, we all saw the 50 pound sack'o'guano that was the first half, the greatish first 10 minutes of the third quarter that had the Lakers up by 13, the fiesta of flop in the fourth, and the fizzling finish... Lots of Fs for everyone, 'cept maybe LO... How did the Utahns see it? Let's take a look at the headlines, leads, and links, shall we?


Battling back: Boozer plays big as Utah Jazz claw back into series after critical win

by Tim Buckley, Deseret News

Playing at EnergySolutions Arena had to help.

But Carlos Boozer's long reach, Kobe Bryant's cold hand and a dagger from Deron Williams was what really made the difference as the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Lakers 88-86 in Thursday night's Game 3 of their first-round NBA playoff series.

Boozer pulled down 22 boards, tying Karl Malone's 1989 Jazz franchise record for rebounds in a playoff game.

The two-time NBA All-Star made two free throws with 1 minute and 26 seconds remaining to put Utah — which trailed up 68-60 at the start of the fourth quarter — up 82-80.

Boozer also used a Williams-fed pick-and-roll layup to make it 84-82 with 47 seconds left, then — after Bryant tied it with a layup of his own — turned and dunked on Pau Gasol to give the Jazz an 86-84 advantage with 16.9 seconds remaining.

Gasol did answer, dunking home a pass from Bryant — who scored 18, but hit just 5-of-24 from the field — with 11.7 left.

None of the work from 23-point game-high scorer Boozer would have mattered, though, if Williams hadn't delivered the game-winner on a 14-foot fadeway jumper with 2.2 seconds to go. * * *

More after the jump...


Lakers need Kobe to go back to being himself

by Brad Rock, Deseret News

On the game's final play, L.A.'s Trevor Ariza passed in bounds to Kobe Bryant, 25 feet out.

It went up. And off.

Way, way off.

The shot nearly hit a passing train down the street.

At that moment — and all the other 48 minutes in the Jazz's Game 3 playoff win over the Lakers on Thursday night — one thing was abundantly clear: The Lakers need Bryant's scoring, after all.

Chalk one up for the guys who make the big bucks. The Jazz's Deron Williams scored on a fader with 2.2 seconds remaining to score the game-winner. That left the Lakers with a final chance, and who did they go to?

Kobe, naturally.

Never mind he was working on a 5-of-24 shooting night. * * *


NBA playoffs: Jazz win nailbiter over Lakers
Utah makes key plays in the clutch, cuts series deficit to 2-1

by Ross Siler, Salt Lake Tribune

There will be no sweep for the Jazz at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers in this first-round playoff series. Now the question is how much of a scare they put in the Western Conference's top-seeded team after Thursday night's 88-86 victory.

The Jazz fought back from a 13-point deficit in the second half to win Game 3 on Deron Williams' 14-foot pull up with 2.2 seconds left. With their victory, the Jazz can even the series with a victory in Game 4 at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday.

It was a night of redemption for Carlos Boozer, who finished with 23 points and 22 rebounds. Williams had 13 points and nine assists and atoned for five missed free throws and an eight-second violation in the fourth quarter.

Lakers inbounded with a chance to win, but Trevor Ariza's pass was behind Kobe Bryant, who then was long on a three-pointer at the buzzer. Bryant was a dismal 5-for-24 in the game, including 1-for-10 in the first half.

Jazz president Randy Rigby took the microphone to thank fans at the final horn while public-address announcer Dan Roberts asked: "How about them Jazz?" It was only the Jazz's third win in their last 12 games since the end of the regular season. * * *


Jazz: Williams struggles yet delivers game-winner

by Steve Luhm, Salt Lake Tribune

It wasn't vintage Deron Williams.

But it was good enough.

Struggling through much of Game 3 against the L.A. Lakers - perhaps because of fatigue after scoring 35 points in 42 minutes just two nights before - Williams finished with a flourish in the Jazz's 88-86 victory at EnergySolutions Arena.

Williams scored four of his 13 points and handed out four of his nine assists in the fourth quarter, helping Utah get back in the best-of-seven series with its first victory.

Williams took only seven shots, missed both of his three-pointers and committed four turnovers.

But was he struggling before his outstanding finish? His teammates didn't think so.

"It happens," said Andrei Kirilenko. "It's not struggling. He did everything right. He tried to be active. Sometime the ball just doesn't go in. And remember that he has the whole Laker team playing against him."

Williams' jumper with 2.2 seconds snapped an 86-86 tie and lifted the Jazz to their hard-earned victory.

"It's not a matter of [struggling]," Sloan said. "It's a matter of taking advantage of your opportunities, and he took them when they came to him." * * *


Jazz get defensive with Kobe

by Neil K. Warner and Jordan Christiansen, Provo Dai ly Herald

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the first half, the defense Utah played against the L.A. Lakers was superb, holding the Lakers to just 30 percent shooting. The defense Utah played on Kobe Bryant flirted with perfection.

When is the last time you saw a line Bryant go 1-for-10 from the field? Bryant had just six points in the half.

Taking Bryant out of the game is like seeing TNT's Craig Sager in a navy blue suit coat.

Bryant had been a Utah Jazz killer, averaging 25 points in the first two games of their playoff series and shooting 50 percent from the field, but not in game 3. Bryant not only struggled in the first half, Utah did a number on him for the entire night. It seemed only fitting that Bryant's potential game-winning 3-pointer hit the side of the rim as time expired giving Utah an 88-86 win.

The Jazz are now down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series and can tie the series up with a win on Saturday night at the Energy Solutions Arena.

"Kobe Bryant can shoot from anywhere on the court, but when he got tipped to him I knew he couldn't attack the basket, I tried to get up on him as close as I could without fouling him," said Jazz guard Ronnie Brewer, who guarded Bryant for most of the night. "When he let it go I turned and looked because I thought it had the potential to go in. When I saw it hit the side (of the rim) I was super excited because now we have a chance. We're not down 3-0, it's 2-1 and we can make a series out of it."  * * *


Jazz 88, Lakers 86

by UtesFan89, True Blue Jazz

Yeah, yeah... we get it. The Jazz got lucky that Kobe couldn't make a shot, and the rest of the Lakers were right with him. They got a huge performance from Booze, and only won by 2. The Jazz played horrible D when they should've put the game away, and let the Lakers get back. They just got lucky that a quintet that had Harpring & 'Sap as their "bigs" somehow made the comeback. The Jazz have no answer for Gasol & Odom. Blah blah blah...

Believe me, we get all that. But when you're the 8-seed taking on the 1-seed and in a 2-0 hole, you take whatever you can get. After all, a win is a win... and a win is what the Jazz got last night. Sure, it took an off-shooting night from the Lakers & a game-winning shot with 2.2 seconds left, but we'll take it.  * * * 


In summation:

1. How 'bout them Jazz? Huh? Huh?

2. A win is a win is a win is a win — and it's now 2 to 1.

3. Kobe struggled mightily, but so did Deron... Williams made the big shot when it counted. Boozer won the game.

4. Gotta love that home floor.

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