Kobe Bryant’s 10 Most Memorable Moments Against The Utah Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant had many memorable games against the Utah Jazz that broke the hearts of fans in Salt Lake City with big shots and big performances.
Bryant died on Sunday morning in a helicopter crash just north of Los Angeles.
In remembrance of the Hall of Fame career, the KSL SportsBeat team has 10 of Bryant’s best games against the Utah Jazz (except for one).
10. 2010 Playoffs
Through the 20 years of Bryant’s career, he had many memorable performances in the postseason. The Jazz had their fair share of playoff matchups against Bryant and the Lakers. The 2010 playoffs was the last time that the Jazz and Lakers would square off in the postseason.
In the second round of the 2010 Playoffs, the Lakers swept the Jazz 4-0 to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers went on the win the NBA title, it was the fifth and final championship for Bryant.
In the series against the Jazz, Bryant scored 30 points or more in all four games. He had 31 points in Game 1. Game 2, Bryant had 30 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists. Bryant dropped 35 points and 7 assists in Game 3 in Salt Lake City and ended the series with 32 points in Game 4.
9. 2009 Playoffs
Bryant and the Lakers faced the Jazz in the Playoffs in three consecutive postseasons. The 2009 Playoffs was the second straight meeting. One of the best performances from Bryant in the Playoffs against the Jazz was in 2009 when he dropped 38 points in Game 4.
Entering Game 4, the Lakers had a 2-1 series lead. In the first quarter, Bryant scored 13 of the Lakers first 15 points of the game. He had 24 points in Game 1, 26 points in Game 2 and just 18 points in Game 3, the game that the Jazz won. After Game 4, Bryant closed out the series with 31 points in Game 5 back in Los Angeles.
8. 40-Point Performances
Bryant had many 40-point games in his career and when he faced the Jazz, it wasn’t any different. He had exactly 40 points three times in his career against Utah. On February 19, 2003 in Salt Lake City, Bryant dropped 40 points and 6 rebounds on 15-29 shooting from the field. The Lakers won the game by six points.
Nearly two years later on February 15, 2005, Bryant finished with 40 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals on 12-19 shooting from the floor as the Lakers picked up a seven-point win over the Jazz in Los Angeles.
The third game was on January 2, 2009 in Los Angeles, Bryant posted 40 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals on 13-23 shooting. The Lakers won the game by 13 points.
7. February 1, 2003
Back in 2003, Kobe Bryant went off on the Jazz in Los Angeles, scoring 42 points, along with 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and one block. He shot 12-25 from the field in 44 minutes on the floor. The Lakers beat the Jazz by 12 points.
6. March 22, 2005
In 2005, Bryant did everything he could to help the Lakers get a road win in Salt Lake City. Kobe ended with 43 points and 4 assists, while hitting 9 three-pointers on 15 attempts. The Jazz still prevailed with an 8-point victory.
5. 1997 Playoffs
This is the moment that is more memorable for Jazz fans. It was the second Playoff series of Bryant’s rookie season. The Jazz hosted the Lakers in Game 5 of the second round of the 1997 NBA Playoffs, leading the series 3-1. In the final seconds of regulation, the rookie Bryant attempted a mid-range jump shot for a chance to win the game but air-balled the shot. In overtime, Bryant attempted a three from the left angle and it was nothing but air.
With 40 seconds left in the extra period, Bryant shot another three from the top of the arc and air-balled the shot once again. With 4 seconds left on the clock and the Jazz holding a three-point lead, Bryant tried to send the game to double overtime but the potential game-tying three was nothing but air. The Jazz won the game 96-93 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals.
4. 2008 NBA Playoffs
The 2008 Playoffs would begin three straight seasons of the Jazz and Lakers meeting in any round of the postseason. This time it was the second round with the Lakers holding home court advantage.
Kobe Bryant dominated the entire series. He dropped 38 points in Game 1 and 34 in Game 2 as the Lakers won both games. Back in Salt Lake City, Bryant recorded 34 points in Game 3 and 33 in Game 4 with the Jazz winning both games.
The series went back to LA tied 2-2. Bryant had just 26 points but the Lakers won by seven points. When the series shift back to Utah, Bryant had 34 points and 8 rebounds as Los Angeles won by three points to win the series. They went on to lose to the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.
3. 77 Points In Two Games
In 2001, the Jazz and Lakers squared off twice in three days. Bryant was terrific in both of those games. The first one took place in Utah on November 1 with Bryant dropping 39 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals in the Lakers 4-point win. LA had one game between the matchups with the Jazz as they beat the Suns by 23 points and Kobe had 24 points. They hosted the Jazz on November 4. Bryant finished with 38 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals in the Lakers 4 point win over the Jazz.
2. November 30, 2006
In 2006, it seemed like Kobe Bryant couldn’t miss a shot. In Los Angeles, Bryant finished with 52 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, while shooting 19-26 from the field, 2-3 from beyond the arc and 12-15 from the free throw line. He played 34 minutes on the floor as the Lakers beat the Jazz by 30 points.
1. Final NBA Game
It would be the final time that Kobe Bryant would play in the NBA. His last game just happened to be against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center and the NBA fans couldn’t have asked for a better ending to a legendary career.
Bryant scored 60 points, pulled down 4 rebounds and dished out 4 assists in 42 minutes. He shot 22-50 from the field, 6-21 from the three point line and 10-12 from the foul line. The Lakers beat the Jazz by 5 points.
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