Second-Round Showdown: Game 3

MAY 8| SAT |ROUND 2, GAME 3| (1) Lakers vs. (5) Jazz : LAL lead 2-0

To the news of no one in the sports world, the Lakers took care of the Jazz in Staples Center to gain a 2-0 lead in the series.

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L.A., behind the Black Mamba Kobe Bryant, rallied to a 111-103 victory.

This game was dominated by the Lakers bigs. Pau, Andrew and Lamar combined for 50 points, 44 rebounds and 8 blocks. As a whole, Utah was out-rebounded, 58-40 and was outscored in the paint, 64-50.

Kobe also got in the mix with 30 points and 8 assists. Not to mention 3 emphatic blocks.

But the Jazz did force 20 turnovers from the Lakers, and got within 4 in the fourth quarter.

However, the defending champs were in total control of the game, and now have the opportunity to take complete control of the series with a win in Utah tonight.

The Jazz are a team that is full of pride, so don’t expect them to lie down for the Lakers.

Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer will attempt to make this series competitive. L.A. will need to ultimately contain Boozer to keep the Jazz in a funk.

But the familiarity between the two teams is all too common.

L.A. understands what type of team the Jazz can be on their home floor. The intensity will multiplied with the crowd raving and that may be the momentum shift this Utah team needs to avoid falling down 3-0 in the series.

Here are the keys for the game:

KEYS FOR THE GAME:

Keeping the Laker Tune

L.A. has the opportunity to completely take the series away from the Jazz with a win tonight. Look for them to stick with the inside game and keep the rowdy Utah crowd a non-factor for the 48 minutes. They may be louder than Oklahoma. Something to keep an eye on.

Size Matters

The fact of the matter is, the Jazz can’t contain the length of the Lakers. L.A. will put them away with that one notion.

Aggressive Facilitation

The Lakers can move the ball and help the offense fluctuate by attacking their game plan. Kobe can facilitate and be aggressive with his scoring as the Jazz have no answer for him.

Lamar Odom & Co.

Odom and the bench don’t need to score a ton of points to be productive. But that can go a long way with the Jazz reserve unit holding Paul Milsap, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Price. With the scoring potential they possess, the Lakers’ bench will have to be attentive on both ends of the floor.

Limiting D-Will-Boozer Connection

Williams thrives off getting guys in transition and creating shots for his teammates. L.A. will have to keep their attention on who Williams is deferring to. In many cases, the duo of him and Boozer will be the default. Gasol and Odom usually do a good job defensively on Boozer, so its to be expected that they’ll continue this.

PROJECTED STARTERS:

LAKERS:
(C) A. Bynum
(PF) P. Gasol
(SF) R. Artest
(SG) K. Bryant
(PG) D. Fisher

X-Factor: Lamar Odom and bench play. Front-court.

JAZZ:
(C) K. Fesenko
(PF) C. Boozer
(SF) C. Miles
(SG) W. Matthews
(PG) D. Williams

X-Factor: Paul Milsap & Wesley Matthews.

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