Kobe Bids Adieu to SLC in 48-point Loss to the Jazz

March 28th, 2016 | by Angie Treasure
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

In fitting fashion, the Utah Jazz absolutely pulverized the Los Angeles Lakers in Monday’s game at Vivint Smart Home Arena, handing the team in purple and gold their worst loss of the season, outscoring the bad guys by 48 points. The final score was 123-75, and the Grand Canyon-sized point differential tied both teams’ record for worst loss/best win in franchise history, respectively.

Kobe gets a salt(lake cit)y goodbye

Every iteration of the Jazz that have played against Kobe Bean Bryant have found themselves embattled against the league’s last great villain. Number 24 wouldn’t play heel on the last stop in Salt Lake of his storied career, however. With the Viv full of #8 and #24 jerseys 1, Kobe got a spectacular farewell video from the Jazz organization during player intros. The theme was pitch perfect: “Love/Hate.”

The video features Kobe jams, cold-blooded step backs and even an infamous airballed 3-pointer. All eyes were on Bryant in-arena has he enjoyed the tribute.

Kobe opened the game giving a hug to Jazz owner Gail Miller and getting daps from coach Quin Snyder, a man he called “brilliant” in his post-game presser.

On playing in what Kobe’s known as The Delta Center, Energy Solutions Arena and now Vivint Smart Home Arena, he said, “This building is special because there [are] so many memories just walking in. [I’ll miss] the bus pulling down into the tunnel, getting out then walking these halls and just getting out onto the court. Just this entire environment — I have so many memories.”

“It’s really, really different to be cheered for here,” he continued. “They [the fans] are as brutal as you can get, so it feels good to have that response.”

The best quote from Kobe was about his love/hate relationship with Utah fans:

“They want to hate me tonight, I want to hate them. But we suck.”

Kobe also received gifts he called “unbelievable” from the Jazz organization, including Salomon skis and a season pass to Snowbird 2.

Although Jazz fans still booed Kobe every time he picked up the ball and Laker fans wildly applauded when he made shots, both were few and far between as Kobe ended the game just 1/11 from the field and picked up 5 points in the worst loss of his career.

He was a team worst -43.

Shotchart_1459225895065

The Rodney Hood game

There were so many reasons tonight’s game was ridiculous, the least of which being a Rudy Gobert made jump shot:

The main reason the game was insane was Rodney Hood’s 30-point first half where he went 11/13 from the field and 7/8 from 3-point range. The crowd lost it when he had two straight three-pointers from the same spot in two possessions to put the Jazz up 29 with 2:49 left in the second quarter. He was positively on fire.

Shotchart_1459226512449

In fact, Rodney broke some records, including Jeff Hornacek’s previous record of threes in a half.

Rodney said of his game, “[The hoop] looked really big [in the first half]. Rudy got a couple of offensive rebounds. I got a couple clean looks and from there I just kept shooting. My teammates told me to keep shooting. It’s just a great team effort by us tonight.”

There was thought that Rodney was close to beating his previous career-high scored of 32 with a whole half to play. Kobe had other plans and face guarded Hoodie for the remainder of the game, not allowing another made field goal.

On defending Rodney, Bryant said, “Oh my God. We had to do something. I’d rather not have to chase him all over the place like that, but we had to do something.”

Quin was pleased with Rodney’s performance, despite not scoring in the second half 3 and said, “The good thing about Rodney is he’s just so efficient with what he was doing. I thought he worked hard on the defensive end too, so it was good to see him get hot like that.”

Fun fact: Rodney’s three-point percentage for the season went up almost a point and a half based on Monday night’s performance.

ALMOST the perfect night

The Jazz also broke the team record for made threes in a game with 17.

Oh and Gordon had a vicious dunk AND chasedown block. Swoon.


The game was almost storybook-esque, but two things kept it from being perfect: No free chicken and not breaking4 the record for the Lakers’ worst loss. Tarik Black and Robert Sacre were both sent to the line in the 4th quarter and missed their first gimme shots, sending the thinning crowd 5 into a frenzy. But alas, they would make the second of the pair and no free chicken sandwiches from Chick-Fil-A would be distributed. Drat.

The Jazz were also one point away on either side of the point differential from achieving something epic. Tonight, former Jazzman AK-47 was honored as a significant Jazz alumnus. The Jazz winning by the same amount of points as his jersey would’ve been spectacular. KSL.com Jazz beat writer and Salt City Hoops overlord Andy Larsen was actively cheering on press row, hoping for this to happen 6. Also acceptable would’ve beating the Lakers by 49 or more, handing the franchise their worst-ever loss. Neither of these things happened as garbage time is a lawless place where silly in-game hopes go to die.7

Byron Scott actively hates his team

The 15-win Lakers are having a rough go8 and their head coach 9 is not amused. In pregame, he made a comment that his squad needed to have a little pride and come out with energy. Yeah, that didn’t happen even a little bit.

“I just need to see guys compete,” Scott said in postgame. “Have some heart. Have some pride in what you do for a living. It really is that simple.”

Well…

There really weren’t any bright spots for the Lakers. They had one player with a positive point differential 10. Larry Nance Jr. didn’t play for some reason. Rookie D’Angelo Russell ended the game 2/11 and Julius Randle went 1/5. The team made repeated laughable mistakes, airballing ill-advised jumpers and throwing errant passes to nonexistent teammates. They didn’t try much on defense and seemed listless. Even on the second half of a back-to-back for a 15-win team, it was rough.

It was the perfect way to send Kobe off. No trap game here, folks. Jazz win. On to Golden State on Wednesday.

Angie Treasure

Angie Treasure went from talking about Gordon Hayward’s #dadcalves on the internet to being the Salt City Hoops beat writer. You’re all culpable. Bother her on Twitter: @snark_tank.

2 Comments

  1. Paul Johnson says:

    Now the Jazz needs to do the same thing in Kobe’s last game in LA–send him out with a whimper!!

  2. LKA says:

    I hope Jazz wrap up their playoff spot by the last game. If they wax the lakers on their court at kobes last game they may not be able to get out alive. I think the key to Hood staying healthy is Burks and other wings to stay healthy. It would be nice to limit the starters minutes in the low thirties. A great bench would be the answer to that. I think all the money spent on nice gifts should be instead given to charities. I mean really makeing over twenty million this year alone should be enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *