NBA Regular Season 2012-2013: Utah Jazz (23-19) at Los Angeles Lakers (17-25) -- Game 43

Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Game #43 • STAPLES Center • Los Angeles, CA • January 25, 2013 • 8:30 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports RADIO: 1280 AM/97.5 FM and 1600 AM ESPN Deportes

NBA Regular Season 2012-2013, Game 43:

Utah Jazz (23-19) @ Los Angeles Lakers (17-25)

#UTAatLAL Game Stream -- Silver Screen & Rolll -- Jazz vs Lakers coverage

The Jazz go for the season series sweep!

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The Basics:

The Los Angeles Lakers have lost 15 of their last 23 games, and 8 of their last 10 -- and are currently on a four game losing streak. And they want it to end, and are playing at home against a team that has not been so great there. But we're not chopped liver -- and we're 8 and 2 in our last ten. We've beaten the Lakers twice this season. And want at least one more.

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The always amazing Media Notes produced by the Utah Jazz:

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History:

The Jazz are a neat and tidy 60 - 100 against the Lakers in our franchise history. We're a lowly 18-62 on the road, and 6-20 in STAPLES. THOUGH, I think we're not longer terrified of playing there, and seem to beat them there at least once a season over the Gordan Hayward era. So there's that. We've played twice this season, and ALREADY beat them in LA once.

In both games it has been our bench coming out and putting the hurt on the Lakers. This is something we hope to exploit tonight as they are pretty, well, weak when it comes to over-all depth.

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Scouting, Stats, and Stereotypes:

Hey, did you know that the Lakers have taken the most free throws in the league this year? They're #3 in FT/FGA ratio as well. Funny how that just happens. The Lakers are also a very respectable rebounding club (#11 in ORB%, #16 in DRB%), and have a lot of length in Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, and Antawn Jamison. We can't under-estimate that. Another thing to not bank on is the fact that they are #1 in NOT sending teams to the line (funny how that happens too), with the best defensive FT/FGA ratio.

By contrast, we're used to getting to the line (#8), and our offense is based on that in part (#7 in FT/FGA ratio); but our defense is foul happy (#25 in defensive FT/FGA ratio). So playing in their gym, with the refs we have tonight (who all favor the home team in FTA), I think we know what kind of game we're going to see. If we're going to beat LA it's going to have to be because our offense is working and we're crashing the glass.

If it's close we know Kobe Bryant is going to get the ball, and Steve Nash (whom we haven't played against yet this year) is also pretty clutch. Kobe is averaging 29.2 ppg off of 22.2 FTA/game. He gets to the line 8 times a game, and is Kobe. Steve Nash is averaging 11 and 8, but he's no John Stockton.

Dwight Howard is an interesting animal, he's still putting up the numbers, but head to head, Al Jefferson has had success against him -- primarily in out scoring him, getting 3 offensive rebounds against him per game, and helping to force Dwight into 4.0 turn overs per game. (Over their 17 match-ups against one another)

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Injury Report:

Lakers Injuries --

  • Dwight Howard (C) IN -- Dwight hurt his right shoulder, but is good to go tonight.
  • Jordan Hill (PF/C) OUT -- Jordan Hill is going to miss the rest of the season after having to have right hip surgery.
  • Steve Blake (PG) OUT -- Blake had abdominal surgery and will miss a few months. He's also not very bright.

Jazz Injuries --

  • Mo Williams (PG) OUT -- Mo is still out recovering from his right thumb surgery. He's going to miss a few more weeks for sure.
  • Raja Bell (SG) OUT -- Raja just found out about this show called Lost . . . so . . . you know . . . he's pretty busy right now with season 1.

Advantage --

The Lakers are thin with these injuries, but we're still without one of our proven scorers. We've been winning games without Mo though, so overtly, we have the advantage. Dwight is banged up, and they're missing 2 rotation guys. We're only missing one.

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The Game:

Both teams are rested. We play tomorrow night against the Indiana Pacers. It'll be a fun back to back set.

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Player Focus:

Al Jefferson. This should be his "All-Star Snub" game. We know Karl Malone scored 64 points on such an occasion (that was for starting in the All-Star game). I would love to see Al bounce back from his poor shooting night to score at least 25 tonight.

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X-Factors:

Refs, and threes.

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Word from the Badguys:

Noo-oope.

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As an aside:

I'd love to see us win tonight, it would go a long way towards improving Jazz fans moods.

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Fearless Prediction:

Jazz lose, why? Because whenever I predict that we win. And also, I think this is going to be a very tough game.

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