Posted February 05, 2012 on AP on Fox
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Al Jefferson scored 18 points, Paul Millsap had 16, and Earl Watson keyed a game-clinching 14-0 fourth quarter run to help the Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Lakers 96-87 Saturday night. Watson scored eight points and had six assists in the fourth quarter as the Jazz beat the Lakers for the first time in three tries this season. After he stole the ball from Pau Gasol at the top of the key and fed Derrick Favors for a dunk, Lakers coach Mike Brown went ballistic and charged after official Zach Zarba. Brown received two quick technicals and was ejected with 8:34 to play. Watson threw an alley-oop to C.J. Miles that brought the crowd to its feet and then capped the 14-0 run with a 3-pointer with 6:18 to play that gave Utah its biggest lead of the game, 83-68. Kobe Bryant scored 26 points and Gasol had 24 points and 16 rebounds but the Lakers dropped to 3-8 on the road. Just about every play went through Bryant after Brown's ejection. Bryant made two 3-pointers and added three free throws after getting fouled on another attempt in a span of 1:13. Sandwiched around a driving shot by Watson, Andrew Bynum and Gasol scored inside to cut the Jazz lead to 87-81. But Watson, who was playing with a sprained ankle, assisted on baskets by Jefferson and Millsap and then made a 3-pointer for a 94-83 lead with 1:06 remaining. Los Angeles lost seven of its first eight games on the road. The Lakers' 90-87 overtime win at Utah was their only one until claiming road wins at Milwaukee and Friday night in Denver. Many of the Lakers' road woes returned against the Jazz. Plays frequently ended with two Lakers yelling and pointing about where the other should have been. In addition to the contributions from Bryant and Gasol, Bynum posted 21 points and 12 rebounds but after that was about it. The rest of the Lakers combined for just 16 points. Los Angeles made 5 of 17 field goal attempts in the final quarter. Neither team led by more than six points until Watson led the big Utah run. The Jazz took advantage of their fifteenth home game, which is tied with Philadelphia for most in the league. The Jazz also got a boost from Devin Harris, Raja Bell and Watson who were all game-time decisions after the trio missed Utah's 119-101 loss to Golden State on Thursday. NOTES: Bryant got a technical foul for arguing a no-call on a dunk in the first quarter. He curtailed several discussions with the officials later in order to avoid an ejection. . After assistant John Kuester took over for Brown, he also got a technical foul a couple minutes later in the fourth quarter. . Millsap and Jefferson each had 13 rebounds as the Jazz beat the Lakers on the boards, 50-42.
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