Kobe Bryant scores 26 points, Lakers use big 3rd-quarter surge to rally past Jazz 98-91



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LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant scored 26 points and Carlos Boozer added 19, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 98-91 preseason victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night.

Boozer also had nine rebounds and six of the Lakers' 17 steals. Los Angeles converted 29 Jazz turnovers into 34 points and outscored them 17-8 in second-chance points.

Alec Burks scored 21 for the Jazz, who had only one field goal after his jumper with 5:16 remaining. Enes Kanter had 14 points in 38 minutes before fouling out with 15.2 seconds left.

The lead changed hands six times in the fourth quarter before Ed Davis' hook shot put the Lakers ahead for good at 86-85 with 4:50 to play. Wayne Ellington added two free throws and a 3-pointer that extended the margin to 91-85 with 2:50 remaining, and Bryant helped close it out with five free throws in the final 1:24.

Trailing by 16 at halftime, the injury-riddled Lakers opened the third quarter with a 23-3 surge that put them ahead 61-57 with 5:51 left in the period. Boozer helped fuel the rally with eight points.

Burks helped the Jazz build a 54-38 halftime lead with 13 points. Bryant, who missed five of his first six shots, reported back in with 7:13 left in the second quarter and the Lakers trailing 41-22. He made a 3-pointer on his next shot, ending the team's 0-for-19 drought from behind the arc. The two-time scoring champ was 3 for 7 on 3s and 7 for 22 overall in 31 minutes.

The Lakers shot just 28.3 percent before halftime. Ellington, the first player off the bench, missed all six shots in the first and finished 2 for 9 from the field after going 0 for 8 in Thursday's 119-86 loss to the Jazz down in Anaheim.

Ellington signed with Los Angeles as a free agent four weeks ago after spending last season with Dallas. The Mavericks traded him to the Knicks in June before he was dealt to Sacramento in August. The Kings waived him on Sept. 3.

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