LA Lakers vs. Utah Jazz Game 3 Preview and Pick – Point Spread

L.A. Lakers (57-25 SU 34-46-2 ATS) vs. Utah Jazz (53-29 SU 49-30-3 ATS) Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT 8 PM EST Saturday May 8, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Lakers +4.5 / Jazz -4.5
Over/Under: 202

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On Saturday night in Game 3 the Utah Jazz host the L.A. Lakers. The Jazz lost both games in La La Land and, pretty much, have to win tonight, as no team in NBA history has came back to win a playoff series after losing the first 3 games.

The Jazz were one of the best home teams this season, but they have to shoot the rock better when they did in Game 2 when they only shot 39.6% from the floor.

This season the Jazz were 32-9 at home and the Lakers were 23-18 on the road.

The Utah big men, especially Carlos Boozer, have to hit the boards tonight, as in Game 2 the Lakers dominated them on the glass out-rebounding them by 18. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum combined to grab 29 rebounds in Game 2 and if that happens again Utah may find themselves in a 0-3 hole in this series.

The Lakers only shot 23.5% from 3-point land in Game 2, but they repeatedly got the ball down low and scored with 64 points in the paint. Gasol and Bynum combined to score 39 points and they had many easy shots, which you can see since they combined on 14/20 shooting. The Jazz have to pack the lane and force the Lakers to beat them with their outside jumpers.

Even though the Lakers won Game 2 they were a little sloppy with the rock committing 20 turnovers.

Deron Williams has to play well for Utah to win this game and the series and in Game 2 he did have 15 points and 9 assists, but he was only 4/16 from the floor.

Jazz 6th man Paul Milsap had a huge Game 2 going for 26 points and 11 rebounds, but the rest of the Utah bench only had 6 points.

In Game 2 in L.A. on Tuesday night the Lakers beat the Jazz 111-103. The high scorer for the Lakers was Kobe Bryant going for 30 points on 10/22 shooting and for the Jazz it was Paul Milsap going for 26 points on 10/17 shooting. For the game the Lakers were 40/79 from the field for a FG% of 50.6% and the Jazz shot 38/96 for a FG% of 39.6%. The Lakers killed the Jazz on the boards out-rebounding them by 18 (58-40), but had 10 more turnovers (20-10).

This season the Jazz ranked 4th in the league in scoring (104.2 ppg) and the Lakers ranked 12th (101.7 ppg). On D the Lakers ranked 9th in opponents’ points allowed (97 ppg) and the Jazz ranked 12th (98 ppg). The Jazz were slightly better on the boards this season with a rebounding differential of +3.0 rpg and the Lakers were at +2.1 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Lakers rank 3rd (95.47) and the Jazz rank 5th (94.66).

L.A. is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog, and 1-11 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS win.

L.A. has an Over record of 5-1 in their last 6 games and an Under record of 12-4 in their last 16 games as a road underdog.

Utah is 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 home games, 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 playoff games as a favorite, and 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 home games against teams with a winning road record.

Utah has an Over record of 5-0 in their last 5 games and an Over record of 5-2 in their last 7 playoff games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5.

In the last 4 games between these 2 teams in Utah the total has gone Under every time.

On the injury front SF Andrei Kirilenko and PG Deron Williams are day-to-day for Utah and C Andrew Bynum and SG Kobe Bryant are day-to-day for L.A.

Jason’s Pick: Utah IS and always has been one of the toughest places to play for a road team. I expect the Jazz to come out tonight and win and cover the spread.