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NBA Playoffs, Lakers Jazz Game 4: Utah, now all hope is lost. Officially.

May 11, 2010, 2:41 AM EST

Kobe_layup.jpgIt’s a simple but true basketball axiom — good tall will beat good small.

The Jazz are good, they played hard and execute their offense well, but the Lakers were just a taller, longer team. A better team.

In the first two games of the series Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom punished the Jazz inside for wins. Game three the Jazz doubled the post hard to take the ball out of the Lakers bigs hands.

It worked. Well, except for the fact the ball went more into Kobe Bryant’s hands and the Jazz had nobody who could guard him.

Monday night it was a combination of the two. The Lakers were too big early on (and  the TNT announcing crew beating that fact into the ground during the Game 4 broadcast like they were getting paid a bonus for every time they used the word “length” doesn’t make it any less true). Then later Kobe got his.

Gasol had 33 points and 14 rebounds, Kobe added 32 — he scored at least 30 in every game this series — and while the Jazz battled like they always do the Lakers won Game 4 111-96. Los Angeles swept the series 4-0, first time ever Utah has been swept in a seven game series.

This game was not quite like the others, but that was because of the Jazz.

In Monday’s Salt Lake Tribune the sports section banner headline was, “All Hope Is Lost.” Jazz players ribbed the Tribune’s Jazz beat reporter about that before the game — then they went out and played like it was true. The team that fought through every pick in game three was going under them and letting Kobe Bryant have room. The Jazz were not bringing hard, aggressive double teams to the ball when Bynum or Gasol got it in deep, and the result was Gasol getting going early and having 17 first half points.

“Once we got down a little bit, it was deja vu,” Deron Williams said in a postgame interview broadcast on NBATV.

The three close losses before — by 14 points total — had taken the hope out of the Jazz. The Lakers looked like they were going to run away with this one, up 20 at one point and 17 at half.

But the Jazz do not to just roll over. They came out on a little run to start the third quarter and cut the Lakers lead to single digits, doing it by getting some turnovers and points in transition. Williams led the charge, scoring 21, a number the hustling Paul Millsap matched. Los Angeles got away from what they wanted to do — Kobe kept trying to hit daggers while Gasol didn’t get to touch the ball. And suddenly Utah was on a run.

But the Lakers steadied and for much of the second half the lead fluctuated in the 8 to 12 range. The Jazz just couldn’t close the gap.

Basically because the Lakers were taller. And couldn’t cover Kobe.The basic themes of this series playing out again.

Now it is back to Los Angeles for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals next Monday. It’s the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns — two good teams.

But a matchup where the Lakers are taller. Again.

  1. Mark - May 11, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    Not so sure about that… I agree about condemning people. But I see no equivelancey in your statement per se with respect to the ‘theological climate’. Man is “rife with child molesters and fondlers of every corrupt stripe” – but NOT in the name of God, per se. There is evil within and without the Church. Evil does not discriminate. There are “wolves in sheeps clothing” in all walks of life. It is in mans nature, unfortunately, and the world suffers its consequences.

  2. BROOKLYN LAKER FAN - May 11, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    U R A CHIT HEAD, KOBE BEAT HOWARD LAST YEAR, YOUR POST IS DOG POOP, JUST LIKE YOU…………REPEAT 2009-10.

  3. BROOKLYN LAKER FAN - May 11, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    YOU SHOULD POP IN A TAPE OF 2009 FINALS BECAUSE I THINK YOU MIS REMEMBERED WHAT HAPPENED, IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE TAPE WATCH THE 2010 FINALS, THE SAME WILL HAPPEN IN 2010. REPEAT

  4. Skids - May 12, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    No, this article is all wrong. Mr. Wonderful himself, the Great One, Kobe, is why they one.

  5. greenlynn - May 12, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Wonder if the Lakers series with the Thunder will prove to be their toughest test in the Western Conference.

  6. joe - May 12, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    your a dumbass. The girl dropped the charges against Kobe.

  7. KB - May 12, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    I love seeing people like you guys arguing over the internet. Makes my day. And by the way, I hate the Lakers

  8. noone - May 12, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    I don’t know how you figured out that one. Cleavland is gone like the wind. Here now but gone in a wisp. Kings James is not even a has been. He is a never-been. We Will Not See A Kobe and Lebron Finals. The Lakers are a tough team and they have proved it.

  9. Noone - May 12, 2010 at 6:22 PM

    Who cares who you hate. The Lakers are at the top of the heap and have gotten there by playing better than other teams.

  10. rondo - May 13, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    The Lakers are some tall dudes.

  11. moorerless13 - May 13, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    You sir are an idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Larry - May 16, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Most probably the new CBA and the emergence of the richest of owners Prokhorov (NJ), net worth of 18 Billlion and Ellison of (GS) 28 Billion will be able to far outspend LA.
    The Lakers have bought titles the last couple of years. The have a payroll of 91 million 5 M more the Boston and Dallas, 9 M more than Orlando, and 17 M more than competitors Phoenix, Denver and Utah in the West. That 17 M is the salry of Gasol. Take him away from LA and it’s anyone’s Western conference.
    The New CBA most likely will cap teams total spending and won’t allow teams to go into the luxury tax near as much. That will equalize the playing field. You won’t hear Stern tell the public that the league lost 400 M when they have a 1.8 Billion dollar TV contract.
    Of course how Stern can continue to have 3 convicted felons still officiating in the league is a total disgrace. Ken Mauer, Bennett Salvatore and Joey Crawford. They have also all been involved in questionable incidents since 2006, yet are still all officiating. They are all convicted felons from their 2000 tax evasions convictions or pleas.

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