Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz Game 4 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 10:30 PM EST Monday May 10, 2010 on TNT
by Jason Green at Predictem.com

Point Spread: Lakers +2.5 / Jazz -2.5
Over/Under: 207

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Tonight the Utah Jazz host the L.A. Lakers and try to avoid elimination after being down 3-0 in this Western Conference semifinals series. No team has ever come back to win a playoff series after being down 3-0, but the Jazz will try and their long road back starts tonight. The Jazz played solid in Game 3, but missed a jumper and tip-in at the buzzer and lost by one point.

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

The Jazz have not been able to stop the Lakers on offense in this series, and in Game 3 they forced them to beat them from the outside, which they did. The Jazz have to play better perimeter defense, as the Lakers shot almost 45% from 3-point land including a couple of long balls late in the 4th quarter.

The Jazz had more rebounds and shot a higher FG% in Game 3, but they could not come up with key stops when they needed to.

If the Lakers win this game they will make it to the Western Conference finals for the 3rd straight year and they will be facing the Phoenix Suns, who finished off a sweep yesterday.

Carlos Boozer had 14 boards, but he needs to give the Jazz more offense tonight after only scoring 14 points on 7/16 shooting in Game 3.

The Lakers have won their last 2 road playoff games.

The Jazz need to figure out how to stop the Lakers or just like the Spurs they will be swept AND lose their final game on their home floor.

The Lakers won Game 3 in Utah on Saturday night 111-110. The high scorer for the Lakers in the game was Kobe Bryant going for 35 points on 13/24 shooting and for the Jazz the high scorer was Deron Williams going for 28 points on 6/13 shooting. For the game the Jazz shot well going 37/77 from the floor for a FG% of 48.1% and the Lakers shot 41/87 for a FG% of 47.1%. The Jazz out-rebounded the Lakers (42-39), but the Jazz also had more turnovers (11-7).

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Lakers rank 4th (95.64) and the Jazz rank 5th (94.48).

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.

Utah is 26-10-2 ATS in their last 38 home games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games against teams with a winning road record, and 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 playoff games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5.

Utah has an Over record of 6-0 in their last 6 games and an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 games as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5.

L.A. is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 playoff games as an underdog, and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following a win.

L.A. has an Over record of 6-1 in their last 7 games and an Under record of 12-5 in their last 17 games as a road underdog.

The Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the Jazz.

On the injury front C Andrew Bynum is day-to-day for L.A. and C Mehmet Okur is Out and SF Andrei Kirilenko and PG Deron Williams are day-to-day for Utah.

Jason’s Pick: I find it highy unlikely that the Jazz will drop 2 straight at home, especially in the playoffs. Look for the Jazz to bring a max. effort tonight. Take Utah to win and cover the point spread.