LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kobe Bryant had 38 points, six rebounds and
seven assists and the L.A. Lakers made it five straight playoff
wins by beating the Utah Jazz 109-98 to begin the second round.
Bryant scored 24 points to help the Lakers take a 54-41 halftime
lead. Although the Lakers led the rest of the way, there were some
anxious moments down the stretch against the pesky Jazz.
Pau Gasol added 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the
Lakers. Lamar Odom had 16 points and nine rebounds before fouling
out late. Sasha Vujacic (VOO'-yah-chich) added 15 for the Lakers.
Mehmet Okur had 21 points and a career playoff-high 19 rebounds
for the Jazz. Utah lost despite outrebounding the Lakers 58-to-41.
Carlos Boozer had 15 points, 14 rebounds and four assists before
fouling out with 3:28 left,
Game 2 will be played Wednesday night in L.A. before the
best-of-seven series shifts to Utah for Games 3 and 4.
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