Wednesday, May 14

Lakers-Jazz Game 5: Quarter 1

Kobe hits a three pointer for the first points of the game and follows it up with a long two for an early 5-0 Lakers lead. Looks like his back is doing okay at this point. He's too much of a competitor to leave his team in the lurch, but hopefully he can pick his spots and not wear himself out.

As well as the Lakers have played in jumping out to eleven early points, the Jazz have stuck right with them on an array of dunks and easy layups. The Lakers have really struggled on defense the last few game and that trend can't continue if they want to move on to the next round.

After the first timeout of the game with seven minutes left in the first half there's a lot for the L.A. crowd to cheer for as they lead 15-8. The Lake Show tallied points from most of its starting five and Odom and Radmanovic have come out shooting. Odom's aggression was a big reason why the Lakers stayed close in Utah so his energy will be a key down the stretch.

Timeout commercial critique: The WNBA has awful commercials. I'm not saying that's the reason why I don't watch their games, but they don't help.

A flurry of Utah shots have tightened the score at 22-16 Lakers. Fortunately, Radmanovic discovered his shooting stroke and drilled two threes and now they lead 25-16. Damn the Lakers look good when their shooters are tickling the twine.

Commercial critique: The more commercials I see, the worse the House of Payne. Conversely, My Boys keeps looking better and better.

Kobe collects a weaksauce foul on a fine bit of flopping by Matt Harpring. Wasn't he supposed to be one of the genuinely tough guys in the league?

Utah completely kills the Lakers' momentum when Korver sinks Utah's first three off a Luke Walton turnover. Both teams bring in their bench players and I have to agree with Charles Barkeley's comments about their matchup. The starting five of each team have already proved themselves almost a wash, but the Utah bench has outplayed the Lakers' squad during the series. We'll see if Kobe and co. can turn that around.

Turnovers are now bringing the Jazz back into this contest. The Lakers lead has shrunk to 29-25 with Boozer shooting two from the charity stripe. He hits one of two and the Lakers end the quarters leading 29-26.

Looking forward, both teams are shooting well but the team that can raise its defensive intensity will have the upper hand. Hopefully, that'll be the Lakers.

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