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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 8, 2010

NBA: Bryant scores 35 as Lakers beat Jazz 111-110

AP Sports Writer

SALT LAKE CITY Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher hit back-to-back 3-pointers during an 8-2 run in the final minute and the Lakers held on for a 111-110 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night that put Los Angeles on the verge of sweeping the Western Conference playoff series.

The Jazz had two chances to win it in the final 4 seconds, but Deron Williams missed from the top of the key and Wesley Matthews' tip just before the buzzer bounced off the rim.

Bryant finished with 35 points and Fisher scored 20 for the Lakers, who can close out the four-game sweep with a win Monday night in Game 4. Pau Gasol added 14 points and 17 rebounds for Los Angeles.

Williams scored 28 and Kyle Korver added a career playoff-high 23 points for the Jazz.

Ron Artest scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half for the Lakers, who never led by more than four but stayed close enough to win it in a thrilling final minute.

Bryant's 3-pointer with 54 seconds left tied it at 106. After a jumper by Williams, Fisher hit another from beyond the arc to put the Lakers up 109-108 with 28.6 seconds left.

Carlos Boozer, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds, missed a putback attempt and the Jazz had to foul Bryant, who hit both free throws for a 111-108 lead with 7.8 seconds left. Williams drew a foul with 6.1 seconds and made both from the line to cut it to 111-110

Lakers couldn't inbound the ball and called timeout. They tried again, but Fisher fell before he could get the pass from Artest, and Korver grabbed the loose ball and called timeout with 4.4 seconds left. Fisher thought he was fouled by Wesley Matthews and stood with his arms in the air asking why there was no call.

After the timeout, Williams' shot from the top of the key bounced off the rim. There was still enough time for Matthews to get a hand on the rebound, but his tip also bounced off and the Lakers leaped off the bench to celebrate.

This is the third straight playoffs the Lakers have played the Jazz and Los Angeles had lost Game 3 in Utah each of the previous two.

Andrei Kirilenko returned from more than a month out with a strained left calf and had eight points and six rebounds. Paul Millsap added 13 points for Utah.

Kirilenko got a standing ovation when he entered with 6:54 left in the first. He had three rebounds and two points in less than a minute, tipping in his own miss with 6:07 left. He added a block on Bryant with 5:24 left in the period.