Another loss for the struggling Lakers

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Another loss for the struggling Lakers

From Comcast SportsNetSALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Before their game Wednesday, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown remarked how easily Kobe Bryant had been scoring and in so many different ways.Against Utah, with four or five players taking turns guarding Bryant, nothing came easy as the Jazz pulled off a 95-86 victory to drop the Lakers to 1-4."It's tough for anyone to stop him one-on-one," Jazz guard Randy Foye said. "I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates. Me, Gordon (Hayward), Marvin (Williams), Mo (Williams), Alec (Burks). All of us. It worked well, but I'm lucky the game finished when it did because any longer and he was starting to get it going."Bryant led all scorers with 29 points, 16 in the fourth quarter. But he shot just 7 of 17 overall after entering the game shooting nearly 60 percent. He also was 0 of 4 from 3-point range, and was only 3 of 10 after three quarters.While the Jazz were limiting the Lakers to 34 percent shooting, Al Jefferson and free-agent acquisition Foye provided a 1-2 punch.Jefferson scored 18 points and Foye added 17 off the bench on five 3-pointers, including three straight in the fourth quarter."Oh man, I was feeling it," said Foye, who finished 5 of 9 from beyond the arc and made all of Utah's 3s. "I was just trying to go out there and be aggressive. I've got to give a lot of credit to my teammates. My teammates found me at the right spots and I just knocked down shots."Foye said the Lakers shouldn't have been surprised that he was a dangerous 3-point shooter."They know me," he said. "Last year I played for the Clippers and had big games against them. They knew. But it was either Big Al with the layup or I get a 3."The Jazz led by as many as 16 points early, but the Lakers were within five with 8:27 left before Foye hit three straight 3-pointers to give Utah a 79-68 lead with 6:40 remaining.Jefferson scored on back-to-back baskets for Utah as the Jazz boosted their lead to 13.Bryant's 16-point fourth helped Los Angeles get within five, but his dunk with 12.5 seconds left was too little, too late."We're all frustrated," Brown said. "I'm very frustrated too for the simple fact that I just don't think we played the game like we talked about going in. We wanted to be the ones to hit first ... but we didn't."Utah, which beat Dallas in the opener only to lose three straight on the road, started fast and finished strong.Utah held a 44-36 advantage in points in the paint and a 15-7 edge on the fast break.The Jazz also forced 19 Lakers turnovers, including six by Bryant and five by Dwight Howard."A lot of it just comes from reading each other, getting in sync with each other," said Bryant, who was playing his 79th career game against the Jazz but only fifth with new teammate Howard.Howard (19 points, nine rebounds) said the Lakers' intensity was low.Everyone acknowledged Utah is a different team at home.The Jazz led by seven early as Mo Williams and Hayward started fast. Hayward left Bryant on the floor after stealing the ball from him at one end and dunking at the other for a 9-2 Utah lead.The Lakers pulled within 19-17 on Pau Gasol's jam off a pass from Bryant. But Utah closed on a 6-0 run to take a 25-17 lead, with a pair of baskets from Derrick Favors and a 17-foot jumper from big man Enes Kanter.Utah's reserves kept things rolling in the second quarter, with Favors and Kanter dominating inside at both ends. Kanter shut down Howard on back-to-back possessions, and had a dunk and three-point play. Foye's 3-pointer pushed Utah's lead to 35-21 with 9:11 left in the half and his free throws put the Jazz up 43-27.Mo Williams kept the pressure on offensively with 14 points in the first half on 7-of-10 shooting, taking advantage of Steve Nash's continued absence. He finished with 16 points on 8 of 13 shooting.Hayward was just 2 of 11 overall, but had a pair of steals and three blocks, none bigger than his swat of Metta World Peace shortly before the break.Utah finished with seven blocked shots, including two by Burks, who showed he wasn't afraid to play Bryant tight.Bryant took only one shot in the first quarter and was 1 of 4 at halftime. At one point, Los Angeles was shooting just 25 percent.In the third, Bryant had a chance to cut Utah's lead to two but was blocked by Favors, leaving Bryant screaming for the foul. He didn't get it, but Marvin Williams converted a three-point play at the other end six seconds later to push Utah's lead back to 63-56.Kanter's slam gave Utah a 65-57 lead going into the fourth."It's definitely sweet," said Mo Williams, who added seven assists. "But it was all about us fighting. We needed to get this one."Notes: The Jazz went 3 12 minutes without scoring in the third as they shot just 26 percent in the quarter. Utah held a 44-36 advantage in points in the paint and a 15-7 edge on the fast break. ... The Lakers finished with a huge advantage at the free throw line, but made just 32 of 46. ... Jordan Hill grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds for the Lakers.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."

Raptors, in pursuit of Celtics in playoff race, lose Lowry for perhaps rest of regular season

Raptors, in pursuit of Celtics in playoff race, lose Lowry for perhaps rest of regular season

The Eastern Conference playoff race, seemingly altered by the moves -- and non-moves (hello there, Celtics) -- of some of the contenders, just took another twist.

The Raptors, bolstered by the acquisition of Serge Ibaka and appearing poised to make a run toward the top of the standings after a come-from-behind victory over the Celtics on Friday, were hit with a body blow Monday when it was announced All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry needs surgery on his right wrist and may miss the remainder of the regular season.

ESPN reports Lowry is expected to be sidelined from four to eight weeks. Toronto hopes to have him back for the playoffs.

The Raptors are currently in fourth place in the conference at 35-24, trailing Cleveland (40-17), Boston (38-21) and Washington (34-23). Without Lowry, and facing a rough, six-of-their-next-seven-games-on-the-road stretch, Toronto may stop focusing on catching the Wizards and/or Celtics and focus on holding off Atlanta (32-26) in order to hold onto home-court in the first round.

Lowry, 30, who missed the last two games because of the injury, is averaging a career-best 22.8 points per game. He also is averaging 6.9 assists and 4.7 rebounds.