Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/1

Game 1: Thursday, November 1st
Game 2: Sunday, November 4th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 6th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 9th

Jazz 82


Lakers 112

(55-23, 31-7 home)

    Coverage: KJZZ

    7:30 PM ET, April 9, 2002

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 20 19 31 1282
    LAL 27 28 32 25112

    Top Performers

    UTAH: A. Kirilenko 16 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    LAL: R. Horry 14 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Blk

    Lakers erupt after Shaq gets tossed out

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Just when it appeared the Los Angeles Lakers might be in trouble, they rolled to one of their most impressive wins of the season.

    Shaquille O'Neal

    Shaquille O'Neal couldn't believe he was tossed for getting tangled up with Jarron Collins.

    The Utah Jazz trimmed an 18-point deficit to six in the first seven minutes of the third quarter, and Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal picked up his second technical foul, which calls for automatic ejection.

    The Lakers responded by outscoring the Jazz 44-18 after that for a 112-82 victory.

    "I think we just executed our game plan, it wasn't anything that was extremely emotional," said Kobe Bryant, who scored 12 of his 22 points in the first 8:18 after O'Neal got the boot. "We just got after guys defensively."

    The Lakers led 68-62 when O'Neal was called for throwing an elbow at Utah rookie Jarron Collins while going for a rebound.

    O'Neal didn't stay around to give his version of what happened, but Lakers coach Phil Jackson said it was a "terrible call."

    "There wasn't anything that was with malice or anything that was needful of that," Jackson added, referring to the technical foul and subsequent ejection.

    Collins said he believed O'Neal got frustrated "and our arms got tangled up and he just tried to get me off of him."

    O'Neal had 22 points in 25 minutes before being kicked out. The Lakers outscored the Jazz 19-8 to finish the third quarter and 11-0 to start the fourth for a 98-70 lead.

    Bryant left the game for good with 7:41 left.

    "We really had to step our game up, we were capable of doing that," Jackson said. "I was very impressed."

    By winning, the Lakers (55-23) remained in the Pacific Division race, albeit barely. They trail the surging Sacramento Kings, who beat Minnesota for their ninth straight victory, by 3½ games. The Lakers have four games left, the Kings five.

    But as Jackson indicated, the two-time defending champions seem to be getting playoff-ready. The same can't be said about the Jazz (42-36), who clinched a playoff berth Monday night.

    "We looked like a team that didn't even like playing basketball," said Utah coach Jerry Sloan, whose team lost for the fourth time in five games. "They just blitzed us every way they could.

    "You've got to keep a team on defense a little bit and we came down and fired shots up. You can't do that against a team this good, even without Shaq."

    Bryant scored a basket as the third quarter ended and the first six points of the final period before Devean George tallied five more.

    The Jazz went nearly six minutes without a point before DeShawn Stevenson made a jumper with 6:55 remaining.

    George added 16 points and Derek Fisher and Robert Horry had 14 each for the Lakers. Horry also had 11 rebounds.

    Rookie Andrei Kirilenko led Utah with 16 points. John Stockton had 14 points and six assists and Karl Malone had 12 points and six rebounds for the Jazz.

    O'Neal was ejected for the third time this season and first since throwing a punch at Chicago's Brad Miller in the fourth quarter of a game Jan. 12, which resulted in a three-game suspension for the Lakers' star.

    O'Neal picked up his first technical foul earlier in the third period.

    "Normally when a star player gets kicked out the other guys pick things up," Malone said. "I have played long enough to know that. Unfortunately, that has been typical of the whole year."

    The Lakers led 57-39 in the opening minute of the third quarter before the Jazz went on a 23-11 run to draw within six. That's when O'Neal got booted and the Lakers got going.

    Collins made three baskets, and Bryon Russell hit a three-pointer as the Jazz outscored the Lakers 9-2 for an early 15-8 lead.

    But Fisher scored nine points on two 3-pointers and a three-point play and Bryant added six as the Lakers outscored the Jazz 19-5 to finish the first quarter for a 27-20 lead. It was 55-39 at halftime.

    Game notes

    The game marked the return of Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn, calling play-by-play for the first time since Dec. 16. He underwent open-heart surgery three days later, and his return was delayed after he broke his left hip Feb. 17. ... The 85-year-old Hearn had broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers games dating back to 1965 before his operations. Paul Sunderland worked 56 games in his absence. ... The Lakers have won 12 straight home games to make them 31-7 -- the third-best home record in the NBA behind Sacramento and New Jersey. They play three of their last four regular-season games at Staples Center. ... The Lakers were 3-1 against the Jazz, who are 23-25 against Western Conference teams and 3-14 against the conference's top five teams.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 82 112
    FGM-FGA 25-78 (.321) 42-76 (.553)
    3PM-3PA 3-9 (.333) 5-13 (.385)
    FTM-FTA 29-38 (.763) 23-26 (.885)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-38 7-47
    Assists 16 29
    Turnovers 14 14
    Steals 10 8
    Blocks 3 11
    Fast Break Points 1 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 28 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Andrei Kirilenko Kirilenko
    Points: 16
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2
    Robert Horry Horry
    Points: 14
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3