Jazz ring up Bell in 4th to beat Lakers

Matt Harpring, Juneau's Carlos Boozer, Raja Bell lead Utah over Los Angeles

Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2005

LOS ANGELES - Raja Bell contributed very little during the first three quarters Monday night, playing nine minutes and scoring two points.

In the final period, he took over the game.

Bell shot 6-of-9 for 14 points in the fourth quarter, when reserves scored 28 of Utah's 34 points, and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Lakers 102-94 for just their fourth win in 18 games.

"He came in strong. That's hard to do, when you're sitting on the bench," said Matt Harpring, who led the Jazz with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Bell capped his performance by making a 3-pointer from the left corner with 33.8 seconds remaining to give the Jazz a 98-92 lead.

"We did some work against the zone in practice yesterday and in the shootaround today," Bell said. "I found myself open - a lot. The point guards were finding me, the big men were finding me. We're showing signs of learning from our mistakes."

Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Carlos Boozer added 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots for Utah, which ended a two-game losing streak. Gordan Giricek scored 15 and Mehmet Okur had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Jazz (14-26).

But Bell was the story of the game.

"They figured out ways to score on our zone (defense), and Raja just kind of sat in that corner all night and fired away," Lakers center Chris Mihm said.

"He was terrific," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "He moved well, he passed the ball well, he caught it and shot. He was on a roll and he got the kind of shots that he can make."

The Jazz hope they've played their final game without All-Star Andrei Kirilenko. It appears they'll get him back Saturday night, when they return to action against Memphis. Utah is off until Saturday's game.

Kirilenko has missed 26 games since spraining a right knee ligament Nov. 27 against San Antonio. The Jazz are 6-20 without him, but have won three of their last five games, beating San Antonio, Phoenix and the Lakers.

"Going into it, we didn't think we were going to lose this many games," Boozer said. "We have missed him. He's all over the court - he's energetic, he blocks shots, he steals, he scores, he plays defense.

"Watch out! We're going to have a big turnaround."



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