The Los Angeles Lakers continued their winning ways at home yesterday, with a seventh consecutive victory at the Staples Center. Now, they'll have to prove they can win one on the road, as they try to get their first victory away from home against the Utah Jazz. This is the Lakers third home/road back to back games of the season, losing both of those road games by nine points.
The Lakers are already up 1-0 on the season series with the Jazz, having defeated them at home 96-71 in Andrew Bynum's first game back. The Lakers are 7-3 against the Jazz in their last 10 games, but 4-6 against the Jazz on the road. The Lakers will still play a four game series against the Jazz despite the shortened season.
The Lakers are riding a three game winning streak, while the Jazz have won five straight games. The Jazz have had the luxury of playing most of those games at home against average teams, with their toughest game a road tilt in Oakland which they won by one point. The Jazz are yet to lose at home, but have beaten just one team with a winning record.
Kobe Bryant was the Lakers' high scorer against the Jazz in the first meeting with 26 points. After reaching a season high 48 points last night against the Suns while still nursing the injured wrist, it's hard to see Bryant having an off night in Salt Lake. In the last meeting, the Lakers held the Jazz to 46 points through the third quarter.
In 2006, the Lakers scored a series record 132 points in a 132-102 victory at the Staples Center. Bryant established a series high 52 points in that game, surpassing his own record of 43 points while also surpassing Adrian Dantley's Jazz mark of 50 points set in 1979. Bryant had a 30 point third quarter tying his own franchise record and tied the record for fourth highest scoring quarter in NBA history.