Some basketball experts say the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t hungry for another championship after winning the title last season—but Ron Artest wasn’t a member of the 2009 championship team.
The Lakers star showed how much he wants to win, scoring 20 points to help No. 1 seed Los Angeles escape with a 111-110 victory against the Utah Jazz in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 8. Lakers now lead the series, 3-0.
Artest shot 4- for-7 from three-point range on a night where Los Angeles did more damage from the outside than they had in the previous two games. Los Angeles point guard Derek Fisher converted 3-of-7 shots from three-point land, while superstar Kobe Bryant also made 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. Fisher finished with 20 points while Bryant totaled a game-high 35 points.
“It was fun basketball to watch, I’m sure,” said Bryant. “Guys just coming down making big shot after big shot, and big play after big play. It was certainly fun to be a part of.”
Utah star Deron Williams had an impressive performance in the loss, scoring 28 points with nine assists. Reserve guard Kyle Korver tried to match the Lakers’ three-point shooting, making 5-of-5 three-point shots, but LA still managed to steal the win.
“It’s a tough loss, period,” Williams told reporters. “We were again in the game and had a chance to win the game and things aren’t going our way.”
Game 4 of the series will air on Monday, May 10 on TNT.