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Appetite for Destruction: Lakers Demolish Jazz

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I'm feeling a bit dazed at the moment, as I'm sure are the Utah Jazz. That fourth quarter was a lot to take in. In a matter of minutes, a tightly contested game that looked like it would go down to the wire turned into a brutal street crime. The Los Angeles Lakers, cranking up their defense like we've never seen, strangled the Jazz into submission, stole their wallets and ice, and then kept kicking their lifeless bodies just for fun. Utah managed only six points in the fourth. Seis.

Someone should probably get them to a hospital.

The masterpiece that was the fourth quarter redeemed what had been an uninspired effort to that point. In the first half, the Lakers looked annoyed that someone was asking them to defend the Utah offense, which ran with its usual Swiss-engineered precision. Open looks were abundant for Jazz shooters, who hit four of their first eight three-point attempts. Shannon Brown (failing to follow cutters) and Andrew Bynum (failing to rebound) were the chief offenders, but nobody in Lakerdom distinguished himself.

In the third, Utah finally started missing threes - they would end up honking their last nine attempts from distance - and the Lakers exploited the chance to claw back into the lead. Kobe Bryant had 13 in the third, which ended with a Jordan Farmar money ball. Jordan had another in a string of quality efforts. He finished with 11 points, four rebounds and a net plus-minus of +17.

And then the fourth quarter started, and there was BLOOD EVERYWHERE. Voracious and predatory was the Laker defense. For the quarter the Jazz turned the ball over eight times in 24 possessions and shot 2 for 18. It was, let's just say it, the best 12 minutes of Laker D any of us have seen. Like, ever. The final score was 101 to 77.

Here, for your amusement, is how the teams fared in points per possession by quarter.

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Game

Utah

1.14

1.27

0.83

0.25

0.86

Los Angeles

1.14

1.04

1.09

1.17

1.11

The Lakers are now 17-3 and have won 10 straight. They're undefeated since the return of Pau Gasol. Here are the game stats, followed by a tasty dunk by Shannon. I believe it will meet with your satisfaction.

 

Poss.

TO%

FTA/
FGA

FT%

EFG%

TS%

Off Reb%

Def Reb%

PPP

Utah

90

19

0.22

79

36

41

33

75

0.86

L.A.

91

10

0.40

77

49

55

25

67

1.11