Jazz overcome Bryant’s 34-point game, edge Lakers

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Paul Millsap fired 24 points and five other teammates scored in double-digits to help the Utah Jazz overcome a 34-point performance by Kobe Bryant en route to a 117-110 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday at Staples Center.

Millsap also added nine rebounds and three steals while Mo Williams contributed 22 points and nine assists as the Jazz notched their third straight win and improved to 12-10.

Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and Al Jefferson scored 14 points each and DeMarre Carroll added 10 for the Jazz, who survived the Lakers’ three-point barrage with a balanced scoring.

Jefferson, who started in place in Kanter after recovering from back spasms, grabbed 11 boards in 30 minutes of action.

“The guys have been doing a great job of just coming back and learning every night and getting better every night we step out there on the floor,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said.

Bryant shot just 9-for-24 from the field, including four of the Lakers’ 15 three-pointers in the game, while Jordan Hill backed him up with 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocks off the bench.

Shooting guard Jodie Meeks added 16, Metta World Peace and Chris Duhon had 12 apiece and Dwight Howard had 11 points and 16 boards for the Lakers, who lost their second straight game.

The Lakers, who fell to 4-7 under new coach Mike D’Antoni and 9-12 overall, missed the inside presence of Pau Gasol, who did not play with a knee injury.

Los Angeles also played without starting playmaker Steve Nash and backup Steve Blake, who were both out with injuries. Duhon started at point guard and issued 11 assists.

Without Gasol, the Jazz had a field day inside the shaded lane, scoring 54 point in the paint compared to just 34 by the Lakers.

Meeks sank a three-pointer to bring the Lakers within three, with 10:33 left in the fourth period.

However, Hayward answered with a three-pointer on Utah’s next possession, sparking a 7-0 run in which the Lakers missed three field-goal attempts and committed three turnovers.

Utah’s lead swelled to 15 with 5:35 remaining before the Lakers made a late push to get within five but Bryant missed a 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining.

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