Jazz get even with Lakers on home court

Jazz get even with Lakers on home court

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SALT LAKE CITY -- After a few trips down the court in the first quarter, it was evident that the Jazz were looking for revenge from their humiliating 77-101 defeat at the hands of the Lakers Wednesday in Los Angeles.

In front of a crowd spotted with more yellow jerseys than any true Jazz fan would like to see, Utah let their performance deliver their message that revenge was on its way Saturday night.

"We're a team full of competitors. We felt embarrassed (after Wednesday's loss), scoring only six points in a quarter, and they were able to do whatever it is that they wanted to do against us," said guard Wesley Matthews. "We just had to come back and play the way we're capable of for 48 minutes."


The seemingly hungrier team on the hardwood, Utah's aggressiveness and accuracy from all eight guys seeing playing time sent the Lakers home empty handed after snapping their 11-game winning streak in a 102-94 loss Saturday.

The Jazz attacked the Lakers on all fronts with a solid team performance throughout all four quarters of the game, and ended the night with six guys achieving double-digit scoring.

In the hands of Matthews in the first half, Utah took a satisfying six-point lead into the locker room. Matthews put 11 points on the board for the Jazz in the first quarter, surpassing his total game points from Wednesday's matchup in just 12 minutes of play. After hitting 16 at the break, Matthews ended the night with a career-high 19 points to go along with six assists.

"You just gotta give credit to the teammates, credit to the coaching staff. When they got confidence in you, it's easy to play this game. This game is played off of confidence and heart and toughness almost as much as skill," Matthews said. "My team's got a lot of confidence in me, and I'm just going out there playing and having fun."

Matthews' points kept the Jazz alive in the first quarter, securing an even score heading into the second, as no other member of Utah's roster saw more than four points in the first 12 minutes.

The even first quarter score was just one of the several strikingly similar first half characteristics between games one and two of the Jazz-Lakers matchup this season. The Jazz took another lead into the half, this time up six, again proving their capability to matchup against a high-caliber team like Los Angeles.

Unlike game one, however, the Jazz would not be outscored in the third quarter and give up the game in the fourth.

"We got up and played them a little bit harder," said head coach Jerry Sloan. "This is a game at home, it's important for what we're trying to do and what we're trying to move forward."

Going up by as much as 12 in the third, in which Matthews was held scoreless, guards Deron Williams and Ronnie Brewer took over and led Utah through the second half on their quest for victory.

After scoring 10 and four points, respectively, in the first half, Williams and Brewer came out of the locker room after the break and further ignited Utah's momentum and determination.

At the end of the third, Williams and Brewer's lead had extended Utah's advantage to nine, but they weren't going to let it stop there. With five minutes left in the game, Brewer's scramble shot put the Jazz up by 17 and the crowd up on their feet, paving the way to Utah's eight-point victory.

The win moved their record for the week to 3-1 with a loss and a win against L.A., a win over Orlando, and a loss to Minnesota.

"For us, we feel like we can play anybody when we play the way we know we're capable of playing," said forward Carlos Boozer. "We can play against the good teams too, and that's what we proved tonight."

"I think everybody knew this was like our barometer week to see how we were gonna do. For us, we feel like we can play anybody when we play the way we know we're capable of playing," said forward Carlos Boozer. "We can play against the good teams too, and that's what we proved tonight."

All of Utah's starters plus forward Paul Millsap achieved double-digit scoring, with Williams hitting 21 with 11 assists for a double-double, while Brewer joined Matthews at 19.

"It's balanced scoring, it's tough to guard, whoever you're playing against," Matthew said. "Whenever you got multiple double-figures guys, that means the ball is getting passed, people are making plays, and that's tough to defend."

Ending the Lakers' 11-game winning streak and furthering their own to two, the Jazz will again be looking for revenge as they take on Minnesota Monday at Energy Solutions Arena.

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