May 4 - Staples Center, Los Angeles. The Lakers used their size to defeat the Utah Jazz 111-103 and take a 2-0 command in their Western Conference Semifinals.
Kobe Bryant led his team in scoring with 30 points and in assists with 8 while L.A.'s big men Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom combined for 50 points, 44 rebounds and 9 blocked shots. Gasol had 22 points and 15 rebounds, Bynum 17 and 14 and Odom added 11 and 15 from the bench.
It was too much size for the Jazz who have Okur and Kirilenko sidelined with injuries. It was clear on a play on which Carlos Boozer went strong to the hoop and was blocked by Odom, Boozer grabbed the loose ball and went up even stronger just to find Gasol who blocked him again. The Lakers outrebounded Utah 58-40, outscored them 64-50 in the paint and gave 13 blocks.
Despite all this the Jazz always stayed in the game, sometimes with Paul Millsap scoring -- he had 26 points and 11 rebounds --, sometimes by making 3-pointers and of course, the Lakers 20 turnovers helped.
After trailing in the first minutes of the game, the Lakers led all the way until the end. They won the first half 58-46 with Bynum contributing 11 points and 13 rebounds in just 16 minutes despite his injured right knee. In the fourth Utah brought back memories from game 1 when they erased the lakers lead before Kobe heroics. But this time the Lakers reacted sooner. The Jazz got as close as 94-98 with 5 minutes left before Kobe again dominated the final minutes by scoring 9 points including a 21-foot jumper followed by a dunk that put the score 107-96 and ended the Jazz hopes with 2:19 remaining.
For the third straight playoffs, the Lakers have a 2-0 series lead over the Jazz.