After shooting 66% in the first half, the Lakers have built a 22-point lead over the Jazz. Kobe Bryant, with a late scoring push, and Trevor Ariza led the Lake Show with 12 points. Kobe also had five dishes, playing some beautifully unselfish basketball. Of course, as we all know, he can turn it up when he needs to, and did to close out the half with some Jordanesque scoring.
Pau Gasol had a very economic (4-for-4 shooting) first half with 10 points and seven boards. New Phil Jackson favorite Shannon Brown nailed both of his threes and had three assists, including a nifty no-look pass to Ariza for a jam. Lamar Odom chimed in with nine points of his own.
Things aren’t looking very good for the Jazz. What I like is the intensity I’m seeing from the Lakers. They saw the statement LeBron James and the Cavs made yesterday. They remember the bitter taste the Celtics left in their mouths. They know they must make a statement of their own today. That is exactly what the Lakers are doing.
By the way, KB24 is three points away from passing Magic Johnson on the Lakers all-time plaoff scoring list. He will trail only Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Pretty elite company, Mamba!