Game of the Day: April 2

Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers — 10:30 PM eastern, telecast on ESPN

After their unfortunate road trip, the Lakers return  home to hopefully get back to their winning ways. Unfortunately, joining them at the Staples Center will be Deron Williams, one of those quick guards who have a field day against Derek Fisher and the gang.

Add the fact that the Jazz are playing some amazing basketball and have tied Dallas for the No. 2 seed in the West, and this fixes to be a fantastic contest.

This will be the final game of the teams’ season series, and the Lakers won all three of the previous matchups by an average of about 16 points.

That said, Andrew Bynum played in those games, and he exposes a weakness in Utah’s lineup — a lack of a tall post defender. With Bynum out because of injury, they’ll still have to deal with Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, but it’s just not the same animal.

Nevertheless, I like the Lakers to win. They’ll be too anxious to break out of the funk they experienced on the road and to prove that they the Western Conference is still their stomping grounds in front of the anxious home crowd. Accordingly, expect Kobe to do more than his usual share of the scoring to assure they come away with the win.

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Hardwood Paroxysm