Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2009-12-14

As they reached the end of a week that Wesley Matthews said "you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemies," the Jazz did so with three home victories over three title favorites -- the Spurs, Magic and Lakers.

Had they not suffered a six-point meltdown in the fourth quarter Wednesday against the Lakers at Staples Center, the Jazz very well could have gone 4-0 in the toughest week on their schedule.

The Jazz took advantage of a tired Lakers team playing the second game of a back-to-back set and an ailing Kobe Bryant, battling an upset stomach, to win Saturday for the 10th time in 13 games and seventh straight at home.

They overcame 15- and 18-point deficits in the first half against San Antonio and Orlando, then played from in front the entire second half against the Lakers after scoring 59 points in the first half.

The Jazz greeted their success with a qualifier: They have to prove it on the road, where they have gone just 3-6 this season. The Jazz will get their chance beginning Wednesday in New Jersey at the start of a five-game Eastern Conference trip.

"When we go on the road and we beat teams, that's when we can be considered top tier," Deron Williams said.

First, however, the Jazz want to avenge their Dec. 5 loss to the Timberwolves, who won just their third game of the season at the Jazz's expense.

JAZZ 102, LAKERS 94: The Jazz led by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter in ending the defending champion Lakers' 11-game winning streak. Kobe Bryant needed IV fluids both before the game and at halftime because of an upset stomach and went 7-for-24 and 1-for-9 from 3-point range in scoring 16 points. Bryant was 3-for-11 in the fourth quarter.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 14, 2009