33 points on only 18 shots, 14 rebounds (including seven offensive), a pair each of assists and blocks, and a partridge in a pear tree. I added that last one. But needless to say, it was a complete night for Pau Gasol- as Andy pointed out, one going well beyond a gaudy statistical line- as the Lakers completed the broom job on the Utah Jazz Monday night, winning their second consecutive at EnergySolutions and sixth straight overall.
The Lakers are rolling, and as ESPNLA.com's Dave McMenamin points out, it's getting harder to remember when they weren't, after answering so many questions in four games against Utah: "...When (Kobe) Bryant gets it going on an individual basis, it's described simply as "that look," and that's exactly what the Lakers have from top to bottom: They look as if they have something to prove. Andrew Bynum proved he can play through injuries. Lamar Odom proved he'll always find a way to be known for being great in the things he does, rather than being known as a disappointment for the things he doesn't do. (Derek) Fisher proved he can still play 40-minute games as if he were a 25-year-old, rather than a 35-year-old... They're driving down a road that looks clear, after all those potholes marred their trip during the regular season. "I think it's the experience of our team," (Phil) Jackson said. "These guys know that you have to save the best for last."
ESPNLA's Arash Markazi notes the rarity of the sweep: "...As rich as the Lakers' history is, the team has only completed 13 sweeps in 100 best-of-seven series since its first season in 1948-49. The Jazz, meanwhile, had never been swept in a seven-game series in their history, despite advancing to the postseason all but three times since 1984. You knew the Lakers were going to win this series; you just didn't expect them to make history and reinvent themselves in the process. Even the staunchest Lakers fan in recent years has had a hard time predicting a Lakers sweep, usually picking their team to win in five, six or seven games. After all, the Lakers have always been good for a stinker on the road. At least they used to be. Since losing two straight at Oklahoma City in the first round, the Lakers have won six straight and, more importantly, three straight on the road, two in closeout situations..."
More from around the web below...
NEWS AND NOTEBOOKS
Lakers looking for revenge, Riverside Press-Enterprise
Kobe again unstoppable in Game 4, Salt Lake Tribune
Sloan wasn't mocking Kobe with "Miss America" comment, Salt Lake Tribune
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
Mark Medina, LA Times.com: Lakers too dominant for Utah to overcome
Wondahbap, Forum Blue and Gold: All hope was lost, and the Lakers made sure
Bill Plaschke, LA Times: It's a big deal, and the Suns aren't big enough
Darius Soriano, Forum Blue and Gold: "...This wasn’t just about Kobe and Pau. Even though those two did the heavy lifting on offense, they were supported by their teammates as the other guys were determined to patiently run our sets and seek out good looks. For most of the evening, the ball crisply moved from player to player with each pass building on the next with getting a good look the ultimate goal. Be it Fisher, Shannon, Odom, or Farmar, the Lakers played with the poise of a championship team and with the mindset of closing out this series tonight. Especially solid were Shannon and Odom who both posted double digit scoring nights off the bench and made some key plays to extend Lakers runs or halt those of the Jazz as they made their customary second half push to try and close the gap. This was a team win that all the players could take pride in as evidenced by the great statistical *team* numbers where the Lakers posted an offensive efficiency of 120.7 while holding the Jazz to a 104.4 on the other end of the court..."
J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: The best way to describe the Lakers is...
Frank Hughes, SI.com: Fast break thoughts...
Kurt Kragthorpe, Salt Lake Tribune: Jazz go out offering precious little resistence
Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie: "...Kobe Bryant, in particular, was masterful again in running the show. He managed 32 points, but I could hardly give a rip whether he finished with 15 or 50; because it was his decision-making that set the Lakers apart. Quick, distinct, decisions. No Larry Johnson-in-1999 stuff. The triple-threat is nice, screen and roll basketball can be effective, but nothing beats putting a defender on his heels before he's even had a chance to load up and guess where you're going. The ball was moving, thanks to Kobe, and the Laker parts were moving, thanks to Kobe. He just had his team flowing..."