Lakers @ Jazz Game 4 Preview and Pick ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
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Opening Line: Lakers -4
The Los Angeles Lakers struggles in Salt Lake City continued on Thursday night as the Utah Jazz beat the Lakers for the 10th time in 12 playoff games in Utah. Kobe Bryant will try to get back on track tonight after his 5-24 shooting effort in Game 3’s 88-86 loss. It looked as if the Lakers were going to take a commanding 3-0 series lead, but the Jazz kept chipping away and answered every Laker basket down the stretch. Deron William’s floater with 2 seconds left sealed the deal and kept the Jazz breathing.
The Lakers were dominated on the boards thanks to Carlos Boozer’s monster night of 23 points and 22 rebounds. Andrew Bynum only played 7 minutes for the Lakers with his lingering knee injury. LA will hope he can go more minutes to help out on the boards. The Jazz’s Mehmet Okur is listed as probable for this game. Even if he does play, he will probably have his minutes reduced. Tough to play with a bum hamstring.
The Jazz are a completely different team at home. They are 34-8 in Salt Lake City after Thursday’s win. The Lakers are obviously the better team here, but their struggles in Utah give Jazz fans hope. The Lakers only lost by 2 points the other night despite getting out-rebounded 55-40. Couple that with the fact that Kobe missed 19 shots, the Lakers should be ready to break through in Utah and take command of this series. Kobe will have a huge game. Pick: Lakers -4
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