First Round: Houston vs. Utah
Game 1: at Houston, Andrei Kirilenko scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, dished 3 assists and had 2 steals in a 93-82 victory. The Jazz held Rockets star Tracy McGrady to 20 points on 7-for-21 shooting, and got away with the victory even though they allowed Shane Battier to score a game-high 22 points and power forward Luis Scola had a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double. Utah point guard Deron Williams also had a double-double, finishing with 20 points and 10 assists.
Game 2: Deron Williams led the Jazz with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, Mehmet Okur finished with a 16-point, 16-rebound double-double, and the Jazz squeaked by the Rockets in Houston again, this time on a timely jump shot by backup Kyle Korver. Korver missed a jumper that hit the side of the backboard in a possession late in the game for Utah, but Kirilenko got the rebound and immediately passed it back to Korver, who ate the shot clock with 20.2 seconds left in the game. McGrady scored 23 points in the game, but went 0-for-4 in the fourth quarter.
Game 3: Rockets reserve Carl Landry blocked a last-second Williams layup to preserve a 94-92 win in Salt Lake City. McGrady scored seven straight points in the fourth quarter to guide the Rockets to victory. Williams scored 21 first-half points, including 16 of Utah's first 27 for a game-high 28. Utah shot 13-for-33 from the charity stripe in the loss.
Game 4: The home team won for the first time in the series on its home court as the Jazz beat the Rockets 86-82, taking a 3-1 series advantage. The Jazz had a 16-point lead in the third whittled down to one, but the team finished off the Rockets at the free throw line. Williams scored a team-high 17 points, Okur had a 14-point, 18-rebound double-double and Carlos Boozer contributed with a double-double of his own, finishing with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Game 5: Led by a 10-point third quarter from McGrady, the Rockets drubbed Utah 95-69 to send the series back to Salt Lake City for game 6. McGrady shot 13-for-26 from the field and scored 29 points in his most productive game of the series. Utah was never closer than 15 in the fourth quarter. Boozer led the Jazz with 19 points, but shot 8-of-18 from the field.
Game 6: McGrady finished with a game-high 40 points, but it wasn't enough as Utah sent the Rockets home with a 113-91 win, extending T-Mac's playoff series loss streak to 7 straight years. The Jazz used four 3-pointers from Williams to push a four-point lead to 20 in the third quarter. Williams scored 25 points, and Utah got well-rounded efforts from Okur and Boozer, who each posted double-doubles. Utah also got 13 points from Ronnie Brewer, 11 from Kirilenko and 10 each from Matt Harpring and Korver.
Second Round: L.A. Lakers vs. Utah
Game 1: Utah shot 37.9 percent from the field and 21.1 percent from 3-point range in a 109-98 loss to the Lakers at Staples Center. Kobe Bryant scored 38 points in the game, including 21-of-23 from the free throw line. Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Sasha Vujacic scored 18,16, and 15 points, respectively. Kirilenko blocked five shots and had two steals, Boozer had a 15-point 14-rebound double-double, Okur had 21 points and 19 rebounds and Utah had a 17-rebound edge on the boards.
Game 2: Bryant was awarded his MVP trophy and predicted his team would be playing until June. Then he went out and played like it in a 120-110 win over Utah to take a 2-0 series lead heading to Salt Lake City. Bryant scored 34 in the game, and four other Lakers finished in double figures. The Jazz turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter while Williams and Boozer went scoreless to dig Utah into a deep hole. Williams rebounded in the third quarter with 11 of his 25 points and finished with 10 assists.Comment on this story
Game 3: Boozer came out of his playoff funk to score 27 points and pull down 20 rebounds in a 104-99 win over the Lakers at EnergySolutions Arena. Williams pitched in with 18 points and 12 assists despite bruising his wrist in the first half. Bryant scored eight points in the first half on 1-of-5 shooting, but came back to total 34 points for the game, including 10 straight points in the third quarter. The highlight of the game for the Lakers was when Bryant threw a pass off the backboard to himself for a dunk that cut the Jazz lead to 92-86 late in the game.
Game 4: Williams put the Jazz on his back while Bryant injured his, and Utah beat Los Angeles 123-115 in overtime to even the series at 2-2. Williams had a 29-point, 14-assist double-double and kept the Jazz calm down the stretch when they blew a large lead. Bryant struggled all game, even though he scored 33 in the game. He was more facilitator than superstar down the stretch as he finished with 10 assists and shot 2-of-13 in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Game 5: Gasol pushed off on Okur, then dunked the game-winner home for the Lakers on a Vujacic miss, and L.A. took a 3-2 series lead by winning 101-104 at Staples Center. Williams, Boozer and Okur all had double-doubles in the loss. Bryant scored half of his 26 points off of free throws, Odom posted a double-double, and Gasol finished with 21 points to bring the Lakers within one win of advancing to the Western Conference Finals.
Game 6: Utah came out flat at home, dug a 19-point halftime hole for themselves, and almost came up with a win anyway, losing 108-105 to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Jazz were down by 11 with under three minutes to go when Boozer a non-factor in the series fouled out. Utah then hit five three-pointers to make it interesting, and the Jazz had a chance to send the game to overtime, but Okur and Williams both missed open treys.