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Jazz dominate Lakers in fourth quarter for 96-87 victory

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 4:56 p.m. MDT

Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson celebrates the win over the Lakers. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson celebrates the win over the Lakers. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — It's early February — much too early to enter panic mode after a couple of losses — but the Utah Jazz picked up a quasi-must-win game for this time of the season Saturday.

All the better that it came against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap combined for 34 points and 26 rebounds and Earl Watson returned from an injury to provide an inspirational spark as Utah snapped a two-game losing streak with a 96-87 victory at EnergySolutions Arena.

The bench made a huge difference in this game, which also ended a two-game losing skid against L.A. this season.

Josh Howard and Derrick Favors each scored 12 points, and Watson gave a gutsy performance that included 11 assists and eight points.

Utah  Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) celebrates the win over the Lakers in Salt Lake City  Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012.  (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) celebrates the win over the Lakers in Salt Lake City Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

The win gives Utah (13-9) a boost as it embarks on a two-game Eastern Conference road trip in New York and Indiana, and faces five of the next six games away from home.

Kobe Bryant scored 26 points for the Lakers, but Utah outscored the visitors 29-20 in the fourth quarter.

Lakers coach Mike Brown was ejected during the Jazz's decisive fourth-quarter run after Watson stole the ball and then fed Favors for a big dunk. Moments later, Watson lobbed a perfect pass for a C.J. Miles slam, giving Utah an 11-point lead. Howard added a free throw following another technical on the L.A. bench, completing a 13-1 spurt.

Watson (ankle), Raja Bell (adductor) and Devin Harris (hamstring) all played after missing games this week with injuries.

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com

Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown is restrained as he screams at the ref after being ejected for bumping a ref while playing the Jazz  in Salt Lake City  Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown is restrained as he screams at the ref after being ejected for bumping a ref while playing the Jazz in Salt Lake City Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
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