Lakers 102 - Jazz 84 (end of regulation)
The Lakers ended their four-game losing streak Friday night, defeating the Utah Jazz 102-84.
Kobe Bryant was one rebound shy of a triple-double and one assist short of his career high (15), with a 14-point, 14-assist, nine-rebound effort.
The Lakers held the Jazz to just 37 points in the first half and 21 in the fourth quarter.
Utah's best effort was 26 in the third. The Jazz were led by Derrick Favors with 14 points while shooting 42% as a team.
Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace both had 17 each to lead all scorers. Steve Nash and Pau Gasol contributed 15 apiece. The Lakers shot 53.8% from the field in their most comfortable victory in a long while.
The Lakers out-rebounded the Lakers 45-30. The usual Lakers issues gave Utah life through stretches; turnovers (18) and free throw shooting (53.8%) are still problematic.
World Peace hit 5-11 from three-point range as the Lakers hit 42.9% from deep.
The Lakers improve to 18-25, gaining ground on the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves and idle Portland Trail Blazers. The Jazz dip to 23-20.
Lakers 72 - Jazz 63 (end of third quarter)
The Jazz rallied in the third, scoring 26 and came within four points of the Lakers before L.A. stretched the lead back out to nine points to end the quarter.
Kobe Bryant dished out four consecutive assists, three of which led to three-point shots (two from Metta World Peace and one from Chris Duhon) and a dunk from Jodie Meeks.
Bryant tallied 12 assists through three quarters, three short of his career high. He also had 10 points, leaving him just three rebounds short of a triple-double.
The Jazz were led by Al Jefferson with 12 points, shooting 43.8% from the field as a team.
The Lakers hit 48.4%, led by 14 from World Peace. They also out-rebounded the jazz 35-23 through three quarters.
Lakers 47 - Jazz 37 (halftime)
The Lakers completed one of their better defensive quarters in some time, holding the Jazz to 37 points.
Five Lakers scored 7-8 points apiece (Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace with eight; Steve Nash and Pau Gasol with seven) in a balanced attack.
The Jazz were led by eight from both Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward, as the team shot 42.1% from the field.
The Lakers hit 46.3%, dishing 11 assists on their 19 baskets. Their 10-point advantage was one shy of the game's biggest lead.
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.