Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Western Conference celebrates after winning MVP in the 2013 NBA All-Star game at the Toyota Center on February 17, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Ronald Martinez, Getty Images)
The Lakers out-rebounded the Jazz in the first half 25-14.
Lakers 26 - Jazz 19 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers played a strong first quarter of basketball Friday against the Utah Jazz.
After scoring the first seven points of the game, the Lakers paced the Jazz by 11 before Utah reeled off nine straight to close within two. The Lakers counterpunched, pushing the lead back to seven by quarter's end.
Dwight Howard led all scorers with eight points as the Lakers shot 45.8% from the field.
The Jazz shot 42.1%. Paul Millsap had six.
The Lakers are without Steve Blake, who arrived at Staples Center clean-shaven after wearing a beard through most of his recovery (abdominal surgery, groin).
The Jazz are still without Mo Williams (thumb). Jamaal Tinsley started in his stead.
The Lakers (17-25) host the Utah Jazz (23-19) on Friday night at Staples Center.
Dwight Howard is expected to play despite re-aggravating his injured shoulder Wednesday in a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Lakers have had a lot of trouble this season with Utah, losing two during the regular season and two in the preseason. It's going to take a big step forward against the Jazz for the Lakers to break their four-game losing streak.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers at Jazz.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.