Kobe scores 38 as Lakers pound Jazz
It took Kobe Bryant only a few minutes to end his shooting slump.
Bryant scored Los Angeles' first 11 points and once his teammates joined in, the Lakers overwhelmed the Jazz 108-94 on Saturday night and moved within one game of advancing to the second round.
"It was important for me to come out and be a little more assertive," said Bryant, who scored 38 two nights after one of his worst shooting games in years.
Bryant went 16-for-24, erasing any memories of his 5-for-24 night Thursday in the Lakers' only loss of the series.
"We never could get close enough to guard him," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "I think he put everyone on his back and got them off to the way they wanted to play."
He scored in double figures in each of the first three quarters and more than doubled his scoring from Game 4.
"Coming off that semi-bad performance - that horrible performance I had in that last game," Bryant said with a grin, "it feels good to respond with a game like this."