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Jazz faces daunting task against Lakers

No team has ever won an NBA playoff series after trailing three games to none.

May 09, 2010|By Broderick Turner

Reporting from Salt Lake City -- The Lakers are saying the Western Conference playoff series is not over.

The Utah Jazz is saying the best-of-seven semifinal series is not over.

That's a hard sell, no matter whether it's coming from the Lakers or the Jazz.

The Lakers have a 3-0 lead after a thrilling, last-second, 111-110 victory over the Jazz on Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

Here's what the Jazz is up against and what the Lakers have in their favor.

No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series in the NBA.

The Lakers have won 21 of their last 27 games against the Jazz, including the playoffs.

The Lakers have defeated the Jazz in the playoffs the last two years.

"Yeah, but we know this Jazz team won't quit," Lamar Odom said. "We know it's going to be a hard game. We have to win the game because they won't give it to us."

Indeed, no Jerry Sloan-coached Utah team will stop playing hard.

It's just that the Jazz finally took away the Lakers' inside game, holding L.A.'s big men to 22 combined points, 39 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Conversely, the Lakers ripped the Jazz apart from the outside.

The Lakers were 13 for 29 (44.8%) from three-point range.

"We just need to take it one game at a time, that's all we can do," said Jazz guard Deron Williams, who missed a potential game-winning three-pointer. "I said this was a must-win game (Game 3) for us because we know how tough it would be to beat this team four times [in a row]. But we are not going to just give up on the season."

The Jazz get another shot at the Lakers on Monday night in Game 4.

If the Jazz wins that game, the team willreturn to Los Angeles to face the Lakers in Game 5 at Staples Center.

The Jazz hasn't won at Staples Center since Jan. 1, 2006.

"We can't win the series by winning on Monday," said Wesley Matthews, whose tip-in of Williams' missed shot also rolled away as time expired. "We have to get better and rest up, lay it on the line again. Nobody's ever done it, but somebody has to be first. Why not try?"

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