Kobe Bryant scored 21 points in the first half, but the Los Angeles Lakers are still sleepwalking and trail the Utah Jazz 42-41 at halftime Wednesday night at the Energy Solutions Arena. The only player beside Bryant with more than four points is Paul Gasol with six.
The Lakers didn't get in until three o'clock in the morning Mountain Time, so it's understandable if they're still feeling a bit jet lagged. The Lakers actually outscored the Jazz 26-23 in the first quarter. The fatigue started to show in the second quarter as the Jazz closed that three point deficit and outscored the Lakers 19-15.
Paul Missap leads the Jazz with 14 points, and is the only other player in double figures as his teammates have also had an off night shooting. Only looking at the shooting percentage, both teams appear to have hot hands with the Jazz shooting 44% and the Lakers 45%. However, with Bryant scoring more than half the Laker points in the first half, it's more the case that nobody else is shooting.
The game has been somewhat sloppy, as the teams have combined for fifteen turnovers. The key to the second half will likely be which team can be better at protecting the ball, and which team can find a way to get the rest of the team involved. Kobe Bryant can't carry the team on his own for two consecutive nights.