Lakers avoid 0-3 start, thump JazzDec 28, 2011 - 6:59 AM
But Los Angeles came out hitting on all cylinders to avoid its first 0-3 start since 1978-79 by rolling past Utah, 96-71, as Mike Brown earned his first win on the Lakers bench.
Kobe Bryant netted 26 points with a bad wrist, while Pau Gasol added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who lost to the Bulls and Kings in their furious start to the regular season.
"I'm glad the back-to-back-to-back is over," Bryant said after the win.
The Jazz were playing their first game and rusty, hitting just 32 percent from the field. Paul Millsap led the way with 18 points and eight boards.
"Our guys did a nice job defensively," Brown said. "To hold a team to 71 points, you're doing something right. It was a fun game to watch. It's exciting to get a win, especially after two losses."
Utah began the season with a head coach not named Jerry Sloan for the first time since the 1988-89 campaign.
Tyrone Corbin is now at the helm and saw his club in the hole, 18-17, after 12 minutes before a bench-infused 13-0 run in the second quarter gave LA some more breathing room.
Metta World Peace capped the stretch with a dunk for a 35-22 lead, and Gasol's putback just before the halftime buzzer resulted in a 41-31 contest.
Bryant hit a turnaround jumper on the first possession of the third quarter, sparking a 10-2 run for an 18-point cushion.
The Lakers shot 15-of-18 from the foul line in the frame, building a 71-46 advantage that was never challenged in the final 12 minutes.
"We missed a lot of shots," Corbin said. "We had good execution, we just missed shots."
The Jazz are 2-13 when opening the season as the visitor...World Peace scored 14 points off the Lakers bench...Utah's Al Jefferson was held to four points on 2-of-16 shooting...The Lakers shot 20 more free throws and made 18 more than Utah.
- UTAH: 71
LOS ANGELES: 96
Dec 28 1:21 AM
- UTAH: 46
LOS ANGELES: 71
End of 3rd
Dec 28 12:41 AM
- UTAH: 31
LOS ANGELES: 41
Dec 27 11:53 PM
- UTAH: 17
LOS ANGELES: 18
End of 1st
Dec 27 11:16 PM
- UTAH: 0
LOS ANGELES: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Dec 27 10:52 PM
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