With 17 of their first 21 games at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers have taken advantage of the heavy dose of home court.
With plenty of road games coming up, however, the defending champions aren’t getting too excited about the early season success.
The Lakers look to win their 10th straight overall and seventh in a row at home over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, with the teams meeting for the first time since last season’s Western Conference quarterfinals.
Los Angeles improved to a league-best 16-3 and 13-2 at home with a 108-88 victory over Phoenix on Sunday. The Pacific Division-leading Lakers have played the most home games in the league.
“No partying at all,” forward Pau Gasol(notes) said after scoring 14 points in the Lakers’ eighth straight win in Los Angeles. “We understand we have so many home games together. I want to see us do this on the road in tougher situations against teams that are ready to play.
“Right now we’re in good shape, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”
Following the end of a six-game homestand Friday, Los Angeles plays 19 of 28 on the road, beginning with a Saturday night matchup in Salt Lake City.
With Utah making the first of two visits to Staples Center to face the Lakers, Los Angeles goes for its first 10-game winning streak in a season since Feb. 8-28, 2008. The Lakers won their final four games of 2007-08 and the first seven last season.
The Lakers defeated the Jazz in five games in the 2009 conference quarterfinals, with Kobe Bryant(notes) scoring 31 points and Lamar Odom(notes) adding 26 and 15 rebounds in the decisive contest, a 107-96 victory at Staples on April 27.
Including the postseason, the Lakers have won 12 straight at home over Utah since a 98-94 loss Jan. 1, 2006 - a game in which Bryant was suspended.
Utah (12-8), winner of eight of 10, will look for a better result at Staples Center after beating San Antonio 104-101 on Monday.
“I missed a couple of shots early so in the second half I just came out and played,” said Williams, who was 5 of 5 in the third quarter when the Jazz outscored the Spurs 37-19.
After averaging 22.0 points and 12.0 assists in three regular-season games versus the Lakers last season, Williams scored 20.2 points per game with 10.8 assists in the playoff series.
Carlos Boozer(notes), the reigning Western Conference player of the week after averaging 22.8 points and 12.0 rebounds in four games, scored 27 points against the Spurs. He averaged 20.6 points and 13.2 boards against the Lakers in the playoffs after missing two of the regular-season matchups due to injuries.