Kobe Bryant scored 34 points and the Los Angeles Lakers held off a furious rally by Utah in a 108-105 win on Friday, putting the Lakers in the Western Conference finals for the first time in four years.
The Jazz trailed by 19 at halftime and 16 at the end of the third quarter, but hit a flurry of 3-pointers to get within two points in the final minute. The Jazz had a chance to tie it at the end, but Mehmet Okur and Deron Williams missed 3-pointers in the closing seconds and Utah's season was over.
It was the only win by the visiting team in the series and kept the Lakers from having to host a Game 7 on Monday. Bryant will get a chance to rest his ailing back. The Lakers made 11 of 13 foul shots in the fourth quarter while barely holding off Utah's rally.
Bryant also had eight points and six assists. Pau Gasol added 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers.
Williams led Utah with 21 points and 14 assists.