Lakers Take Game One

By Jamie Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2008 12:36 AM CDT
Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams, drives to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom during Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series yesterday.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
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(Newser) – Kobe Bryant, celebrating what is expected to be his first NBA MVP award, did just enough to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to another postseason victory. Bryant had 38 points, six rebounds and seven assists yesterday, as the Lakers made it five straight playoff wins by beating the Utah Jazz 109-98 to begin the second round. Game 2 is Wednesday night in L.A.

Bryant scored 24 points to help the Lakers take a 54-41 halftime lead, and although they were on top the rest of the way, there were some anxious moments down the stretch. Pau Gasol added 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Lamar Odom had 16 points and nine, while Sasha Vujacic scored 15 for the Lakers.