Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/10/12
LOS ANGELES -- When the Los Angeles Lakers lost four of five games to begin the season, capped off by a defeat against the Utah Jazz, coach Mike Brown was fired days later. Maybe new coach Mike D'Antoni should watch out. The Jazz sent the Lakers to their fourth loss in five games with a 117-110 decision at Staples Center on Sunday night. Utah held on at the end despite a late Los Angeles run. The Jazz outscored the Lakers 35-24 in the second quarter to build a 60-51 lead, then watched as the Lakers trimmed the deficit to three heading into the fourth quarter. Utah went up by as much as 15 in the fourth quarter before Los Angeles cut the lead to as little as five, but Jazz forward Paul Millsap grabbed two clutch rebounds in the last two minutes to limit the Lakers' opportunities. Utah shot a scorching 54.2 percent, staying remarkably consistent in each quarter, as six players scored in double figures. Millsap led the way with 24 points and nine rebounds, and Mo Williams added 22 points and nine assists for the Jazz, who have won three straight. Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter each added 14 points off the bench for Utah. Kobe Bryant shot just 9-for-24 from the field, but he made 12 of 14 foul shots to lead the Lakers with 34 points. Jordan Hill had 17 points and Jodie Meeks 16 for the Lakers, who have lost two straight. Los Angeles (9-12) shot well from the perimeter, connecting on 15 of 28 attempts from 3-point range, but Utah had a 54-34 scoring advantage in the paint and a 19-4 edge in fast-break points. Utah (12-10) won the first matchup of the season series, 95-86, at EnergySolutions Arena on Nov. 7 despite a game-high 29 points from Bryant. Brown was fired following the loss, giving way to interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, when went 4-1. D'Antoni has led Los Angeles to a 4-7 record since he officially took over. NOTES: With Pau Gasol sidelined, Antawn Jamison got his fourth straight start, and he scored three points. Jamison, who was averaging 8.2 points for the season, increased his output to 13 points per game in his first three starts of the season. ... Steve Nash (leg fracture) and Steve Blake (abdomen) remain out for the Lakers, though Nash could return soon. ... Utah's Jefferson (back) and Derrick Favors (plantar fasciitis) were considered game-time decisions, but Jefferson played while Favors sat. ... The teams split the series 2-2 the previous two seasons.
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