Los Angeles (5-8) at Utah (6-9)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Salt Lake City, UT
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Thu Dec 1, 2005
  • TV: TNT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Lately it seems the more shots Kobe Bryant takes the worse off the Los Angeles Lakers are.

Bryant and the Lakers will try to avoid their second three-game losing streak of the season when they visit the Utah Jazz.

Bryant attempted 33 shots against defending NBA champion San Antonio on Tuesday, making only nine en route to 25 points in a 90-84 loss to the Spurs. Bryant missed all six of his 3-point attempts in 41 minutes, and had no assists for the first time this season.

It was the fifth time in the last six games he attempted at least 33 field goals, and the Lakers have gone 1-4 in those contests. The All-Star guard, who leads the league with 33.5 points per game, had an NBA season-high 46 in a loss to New Jersey on Sunday as Los Angeles fell to 1-2 when he scores at least 40 points this season.

Lamar Odom had his best game of the season against the Spurs, scoring a season-high 27 points and pulling down 16 rebounds.

“Statistically, I suppose this was my best game if you want to look at it that way, but I think I could have made a few more plays,” said Odom, who missed a short follow on another miss by Bryant with 3.8 seconds left.

“If we are going to win games, it’s important for me to finish strong at the basket.”

Injuries to forwards Kwame Brown (right hamstring strain) and Devean George (sore left foot) have left the Lakers shorthanded, but Bryant may need to defer to Odom more often if the team is to snap out of its early season slump.

In the three games Bryant has scored at least 40 points, Odom has attempted an average of just over eight shots per game, and has reached double digits in scoring once during that stretch.

After establishing a new low for home futility with a 73-62 loss to the New York Knicks on Nov. 14, Utah managed to do even worse Tuesday in an 84-60 defeat to visiting Indiana.

Utah committed 20 turnovers and went 23-for-69 from the field.

Deron Williams led the Jazz with 14 points and Andrei Kirilenko scored seven in his return to the lineup after missing seven straight games with a sprained right ankle.

“We could never get any energy to run the floor,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “I’d say that is the most difficult thing to have to sit and watch—our ability to run the floor. I think our guys are in pretty good shape, but it looked like we were running in mud.”

The Jazz visit Portland on Sunday before returning to the Delta Center for a five-game homestand, beginning Monday against Minnesota.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 30): Lakers - 5th place, 4 GB, Pacific Division. Jazz - 4th place (tied), 2 GB, Northwest Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Lakers - F Odom, F Brian Cook, C Chris Mihm, G Smush Parker, G Bryant. Jazz - F Matt Harpring, F Mehmet Okur, C Greg Ostertag, G Williams, G Devin Brown.

TEAM LEADERS: Lakers - Bryant, 33.5 ppg; Odom, 10.1 rpg and 5 apg. Jazz - Okur, 18.2 ppg and 8.9 rpg; Williams, 4.9 apg.

2004-05 SEASON SERIES: Jazz, 3-1.

LAST MEETING: March 22; Jazz, 115-107. At Salt Lake City, Utah, Okur had 27 points and 16 rebounds to help the Jazz snap a season-high nine-game losing streak and overcome a 43-point performance from Bryant.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lakers - 2-4 on the road; Jazz - 2-5 at home.

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