Lakers halt skid with win over Jazz

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Updated: January 26, 2013

Metta World Peace and Dwight Howard each
scored 17 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers came away with a much-needed
102-84 victory over the Utah Jazz to snap a four-game skid.

Kobe Bryant played distributor most of the night as the league’s second
leading scorer dished out a season-high 14 assists to go with 14 points and
nine rebounds in the wire-to-wire victory.

“I tried to make a real concerted effort to force the game upon my teammates a
little bit and just have them play with confidence,” Bryant said of his 14-
assist performance.

Howard also pulled down a game-high 13 boards, while Pau Gasol and Steve Nash
each netted 15 points for the victors.

The Jazz allowed their opponents to shoot 54 percent from the floor in having
their four-game winning streak snapped. Derrick Favors and fellow reserve
Gordon Hayward paced Utah with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

“We have to understand how we have to play against a team that’s playing
physical like they are,” Utah coach Tyrone Corbin admitted.

Los Angeles led by nine entering the fourth and hit its first seven shots of
the frame to build a healthy cushion. Gasol connected on three straight looks
before a 3-pointer by World Peace and a three-point play by Jodie Meeks gave
the hosts an 86-69 advantage.

Bryant, who was on the bench as the Lakers padded their lead, had a steal and
dunk just past the midway point to make it an 18-point affair, and the Lakers
cruised the rest of the way.

The Lakers came out strong, scoring 12 of the game’s opening 14 points with
Bryant providing three assists and Howard netting six points.

The Jazz answered with a 9-0 run, but still trailed, 26-19, at the end of the
opening frame.

It was a double-digit game, 47-37, at the break, and the Jazz pulled as close
as 61-58 before the Lakers made three from behind the arc — all coming off
Bryant assists — in stretching the margin to 72-63 entering the fourth.

Game Notes

World Peace made five 3-pointers … Utah shot 3-of-14 from behind the arc …
Bryant shot 7-of-10 from the floor and did not attempt a free throw for the
first time since the season opener. He was one shy of matching his career high
in assists … The Jazz had won four straight meetings against the Lakers.