Utah Jazz basketball: Jazz need to kick Lakers while they're down

Published: Saturday, Dec. 8 2012 10:48 p.m. MST

Jefferson and Favors are game-time decisions tonight after practicing Saturday, but fill-in starter Enes Kanter is fired up to get more action against a team the Jazz beat twice in preseason play and once already in the regular season.

"Lakers are a great team. But we are not scared of anybody. Every interview I say we have enough talent to beat every team on every court," Kanter said after his 18-point, eight-rebound outing vs. the Raptors. "We are not scared of anybody and I believe just when I go out there and fight, fight and give us 100 percent, and I believe we can win."

In the Jazz's favor, they are facing a depleted team that has lost six of nine, starts Chris Duhon at point guard and could be missing big man Pau Gasol because of tendinitis in his knees.

Even so, it's hard to not view the Lakers as a sleeping giant. Corbin respects the talent level — any team with Bryant on it is scary — and believes the Lakers will get it together and become a force, as expected.

"They're a veteran group. You've just got to fear at some point they're going to figure it out," Corbin said. "You can't afford to take them lightly because they can be a dangerous team. … The talent will eventually take over."

As he has his whole career, Williams looks forward to playing in the place he called home for a year and a half.

"The crowd is always good," he said. "You're going to get some Hollywood people in the stands, so you get to sightsee a little bit. It's always fun. I always enjoy it."

Winning there makes it all the more fun. The Jazz did that in their last regular season meeting in L.A., too, winning 103-99 at Staples Center last March.

Whether Utah admits it or not, there's no time like the present for that to happen again.

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com

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