May 10 - Utah Jazz. The Lakers one-two punch of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol combined for 65 points to help the Lakers sweep the Jazz with a 111-96 victory at Utah and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the third year in a row.
Gasol had 33 points and 14 rebounds, 7 of them on the offensive side, maximizing the advantage of size and talent over his rivals, which was more than obvious when he was facing Carlos Boozer (10 points, 14 rebounds). Kobe Added 32 points for an L.A. team that dominated the second quarter at both ends of the floor and built a 22-point lead, 57-35 with 1:12 left in the first half.
The Jazz used all that was left on their tank and in the third quarter reduced their deficit to 5, 70-65 with 3:18 remaining in the period. But that was as close as they would get. Kobe made a 12-foot jumper, Odom followed with a 3-pointer and the Lakers had no problems controlling the game until the end, leading always at least by 10 points. And in case the Jazz had any hope left, Pau scored 9 consecutive points in the fourth, Kobe scored the next two to end an 11-0 run with 3:00 left and put L.A. ahead 107-85
Despite having 21 points and 9 assists, Deron Williams was well defended by Derek Fisher who was booed every time he touched the ball. But at the end Fisher was the one laughing while the Jazz were swept for the first time in franchise history.
It was a much needed win for L.A. which will have six days of rest before the Western Finals starts against a running Utah Jazz that swept the Spurs yesterday. Especially It will give Andrew Bynum some days to rest his injured need, which won't heal because it need surgery to repair some cartilages but at least the inactivity it will reduce the pain. Bynum was scoreless in 20 minutes in game 3 and had 6 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks in 25 minutes in this game. His big presence is something important for the team even if he's not 100 percent because Gasol has to be defended by the rival's power forward instead of the center.