Lakers blitz Jazz to win 10th in a row

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) The Los Angeles Lakers routed the Utah Jazz in the fourth quarter to seal a 101-77 win on Wednesday, their 10th successive victory.

The Lakers held a slim two-point lead going into the final quarter but dominated the remainder of the contest 28-6 to seal the win. Kobe Bryant had 27 points and eight assists and Pau Gasol put up 19 with 12 rebounds.

The Lakers, last season's NBA champions, turned up the defensive heat to force three shot-clock violations in the final quarter, where Utah made just two field goals.

The Lakers flourished down the stretch with flashy, crowd-pleasing fast breaks and improved their league-best record to 17-3.

"That (fourth) was an amazing quarter," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson told reporters. "We were able to get some pressure on the ball and get things happening and it became like an avalanche."

Deron Williams had 17 points and eight assists for the Jazz (12-9), who led for most of the second and third quarters before being overwhelmed at the end.

"Our energy level was really high and we rode the momentum," said Lakers reserve Jordan Farmar, who chipped in 11 points.

"Our talent level is extremely high and when we play hard on the defensive end it's going to be hard to beat us."

It was the first meeting between the teams since the Lakers eliminated Utah in five games during the first round of last season's playoffs.

Utah, who have not beaten the Lakers in Los Angeles since 2006, got 14 points apiece from Mehmet Okur and C.J. Miles.

Ron Artest put up 16 points and Andrew Bynum had 14 for the Lakers, who will play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday to complete an early stretch that has included 17 of their first 21 games at home.

The Lakers will then hit the road for 19 of their next 28 games.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)