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Lakers flip switch; Jazz disappear in laughable 4th quarter

Lakers flip switch; Jazz disappear in laughable 4th quarter



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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers did to the Utah Jazz Wednesday night what championship teams do: hang around and keep it close until they flip the switch and walk away with the easy 101-77 victory.

After being down four at halftime and up just two after three quarters, the Lakers poured it on in the fourth quarter allowing just two Jazz field goals and only six points in a laughter of a finish.

The Lakers outscored the Jazz 28-6 in the final 12 minutes.

"In that fourth quarter they just came out and destroyed us," said Head Coach Jerry Sloan. "We were hanging in that ball game, but that just shows you what kind of team they have.

"We had a tough time getting shots off. Their defense just stopped us. We missed a couple of shots, then lost our confidence."

The Jazz missed their first 12 shots of the quarter before Deron Williams hit a 13-foot jumper with 4:35 left in the quarter. They didn't get their second field goal until CJ Miles hit a 7-foot jumper with 45 seconds left. Their other two points came on two Paul Millsap free throws.

Utah finished the quarter hitting just two of 18 shots and turned the ball over nine times.

"You give the ball up, especially when they can fast break and get easy baskets; it is tough to stop them," said Williams who finished the night with 17 points and eight assists. "Easy fast break points give them a lot of confidence. Then Kobe [Bryant] starts hitting shots and guys start warming up. It's hard to stop a team like this."

"They turned it up defensively. That's what great teams do," complimented Sloan. "This is a great team to start with, but they're also one of the great defensive teams. That's what's made them so good."

For the game, Utah shot just 33.7 percent and only one player, CJ Miles shot 50 percent or better. Miles finished with 14 points on 6-12 shooting.

Wesley Matthews, who was averaging 14.3 points in his last four games on 56 percent shooting finished the night 2-12 with seven points.

Williams and Mehmet Okur (14 points, 8 rebounds) shot 6-14 respectively.

Carlos Boozer, who's been the epitome of hot lately, cooled off considerably, scoring just 11 points on 5-16 shooting, but did collect 12 rebounds.

"We thought we had a chance; it didn't happen," said Boozer. "They're a very good basketball team. Give them credit. They played great. We didn't play our best basketball. They did a great job on us, and we learn from it and get ready for them on Saturday."

Williams said he's getting tired of this script. He said, "It's frustrating that we were in the ballgame again here. We've been in a lot of ball games. They make one big run where they go unconscious and they did that again tonight."

The Jazz now turn their attention to a good Orlando Magic team, and Boozer says now's not the time to hang your head.

"We've got to have short memory, learn from it and move on. Dust it off a little bit and get ready for Orlando," he said. "We can definitely play a lot better-I think everybody out there can see that. Tip our hats off to them, they played great, but we'll play better tomorrow."

Williams added, "This is a big week for us. We have [the Lakers] again on Saturday at home. We got a tough one tomorrow against Orlando. This is a good stretch for us to see where we are at.

"[Orlando] is going to be another good test for us."

Graydon Johns

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