April 21 - STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. Despite their great effectivity in the first quarter the Lakers saw their big lead slip away and had to fight until the final minute of the game to get a 119-109 victory over Utah and a 2-0 lead in their first round series.
Kobe Bryant led his team by assisting his teammates in the first half and scoring in the second to end with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists, Pau Gasol added 22 points while Deron Williams was a problem for the Lakers with his 35 points that included six 3-pointers. He also ended with 9 assists and 7 turnovers.
The Lakers started on fire making 18 of 21 shots (85.7%) in the first quarter to build a 41-29 lead. Gasol and Lamar Odom combined for 19 points in the period without missing a shot. And the lead grew to 66-46 with 1:50 left in the second quarter but Utah scored the next 14 points in a run that carried over into the third quarter
Although the Jazz never led in the game in the third quarter they closed within six points 7 times until in the final 2:27, Kobe scored 6 consecutive points and assisted Shannon Brown for a 3-pointer that gave L.A. an 89-78 margin to enter the fourth. At the end of the game Carlos Boozer scored 5 consecutive points to leave the Jazz trailing just 109-106 with 3:18 to go but Odom answered with a fastbreak layup. Gasol missed two free throws but Kobe made a 21-footer from the left corner and later assisted Ariza for a 3-pointer to put the game out of reach for Utah
Lamar Odom had 19 points coming from the bench and Ariza 13 points making all his 3-point attempts and 9 assists. Boozer added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Utah.
It was Phil Jackson's 195th career postseason win, the most of any coach in NBA history