If this was a playoff preview, the Lakers will remember the parade Bryant made to the free-throw line in the second quarter, when the crowd nearly booed the roof off the building. They will remember Odom’s finest game since returning from a knee injury. They will remember the six 3-pointers Parker hit and the 24 points he scored, including 13 in a first quarter when he couldn’t miss. And they will remember a 3-pointer Evans buried with 3:07 remaining in a game in which he made just 2 of 11 shots. It added up to the Lakers’ third victory in a row after the longest losing streak of Jackson’s career and a question to Bryant about whether the coach’s mantra of “playing for one another” had taken hold. “We’re getting there,” Bryant said. “It’s understanding that your success individually is connected to the success of the team. It’s how you contribute, how you fit into the mix and how the chemistry evolves that makes each player valuable.” Derek Fisher led Utah with 23 points, but Mehmet Okur made just 3 of 19 shots. The Jazz had won eight of nine games, including two in a row with Carlos Boozer back from an injury. • Photo Gallery: 02/26: Lakers vs. Jazz SALT LAKE CITY – Back when his team was searching for any escape from a six-game losing streak, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he was waiting for a moment to arrive when his players would “play for each other and with each other.” Bryant complained before Sunday’s game against Golden State that he feared he was coming down with strep throat. He did not attend the morning shootaround and spent the day in bed, where he found inspiration in an unlikely source. “If I was feeling a little wimpish,” Bryant said, “I got a good dose of `Patton’ today on AMC. That knocked the yellowbelly right out of me.” Bryant finished with 35 points and made only 7 of 21 shots, but subsisted at the free-throw line, where he went 21 of 24. Yet it was his supporting cast that came up with the biggest plays down the stretch. Parker knocked down two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, the second breaking an 82-82 tie with 4:23 remaining. Odom followed with a 21-footer and the Lakers went into a timeout with 3:20 left leading 87-84. That set the stage for Evans, who his third consecutive game but missed his first eight shots. Out of the timeout, though, Odom drew the defense and threw a pass to Evans alone at the 3-point line. His shot was good and the Lakers never looked back. Odom finished an assist shy of a triple-double with 19 points, 14 rebounds and only one turnover. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Time will tell if Monday night’s 102-94 victory over the Utah Jazz was that moment, but the argument could be made after Lamar Odom, Smush Parker and Maurice Evans all delivered in the fourth quarter of a game Kobe Bryant was just trying to get through. The Lakers brought a 12-16 road record to a place where the Jazz had won 22 of 28 games this season and left with a victory. They did so as Bryant battled a sore throat that later left him speaking to the media in almost a whisper.