SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Not even Kobe Bryant's 38 points could
save the Lakers from one of the worst offensive performances in
Bryant had another big game, but nobody else on the Lakers did
as Utah held them to record lows for field goals and shooting
percentage in a 104-78 win over Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
"They play extremely hard, and when you fall behind like that,
that's why the challenge is just to keep your poise," Bryant said.
The Jazz got the defending Western Conference champions -- or
what's left of them after a tumultuous summer -- flustered early and
held a double-digit lead for most of the game. Utah also blocked 14
shots and held the Lakers to 20 field goals, breaking the previous
franchise low by three. Los Angeles shot 29.4 percent, also the
worst in team history.
"I don't know who that says more about, but I thought we did a
good job playing good team defense," said Raja Bell, one of five
Utah players to score in double figures with 10 points.
Carlos Boozer, who signed as a free agent last summer, made his
Utah debut by leading the team with 27 points and 11 rebounds
against the Shaqless-Lakers, who were also without Vlade Divac
"It was definitely a little different. It opened up a lot on
the inside," Boozer said. "They have very good perimeter players,
but we got them to make turnovers all game."
Matt Harpring, who missed the second half of last season after
having knee surgery, finished with 23 points and seven rebounds.
Andrei Kirilenko led the defensive charge with eight blocks to go
with his 16 points.
Keith McLeod had eight assists -- one more than the Lakers -- in
his first NBA start.
"I never did that before. I'll put that in my own personal
record book," McLeod said with a slight smile.
The Lakers opened the season the night before with an 89-78 win
over Denver, then traveled to Utah and didn't arrive until nearly 3
a.m. Wednesday local time. They were weary from the start and it
Los Angeles' first four possessions ended in a missed shot, a
shot clock violation, a block by Kirilenko and a charge called on
Lamar Odom, the only other Lakers player in double figures with 14
The Lakers went 20-for-68 from the floor and never recovered
after scoring only 13 in the first quarter.
"It's tough to win on somebody else's court, especially with
the emotion that they had here opening night," new Lakers coach
Rudy Tomjanovich said.
Utah held a double-digit lead from the first quarter on, and
even Bryant's 27-point second half wasn't nearly enough.
Bryant finally got the Lakers going in the second half, scoring
17 in the third quarter, but the Jazz still held a 15-point lead
entering the final period and never let it get closer than 12.
Gordan Giricek scored 11. Howard Eisley, who played for Utah
from 1995-00, signed with the Jazz earlier Wednesday and finished
with four points and three assists.
The Lakers' worst shooting game had been 30.2 percent
against New Jersey on Dec. 19, 2002. ... There was a moment of
silence before the game for Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's late wife,
Bobbye, who died in June of pancreatic cancer. Sloan stood next to
his team at the free-throw line and got a handshake from emotional
owner Larry Miller, who paused a couple of times while speaking to
the crowd. ... There was a bit of a haze above the court from a
fireworks display during the Jazz introductions. ... Bryant was
booed throughout the night, except when he made a 360-degree dunk
early in the third quarter, then followed it with consecutive