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Lakers hammer visiting Jazz, 102-84

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Metta World Peace hit five 3-pointers on his way to scoring 17 points and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Utah Jazz 102-84 on Friday night, snapping a four-game skid.

Dwight Howard had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Steve Nash scored 15 and Pau Gasol added 15 points off the bench. Kobe Bryant had 14 points, a season-high 14 assists and nine rebounds to help the Lakers beat the Jazz for the first time in three meetings this season. Utah's four-game winning streak came to an end.

Howard aggravated his right shoulder in the second quarter of the Lakers' loss at Memphis on Wednesday, the same injury that caused him to miss three games two weeks ago. But he showed no ill effects from the start, scoring six points in a 15-4 spurt that opened the game and gave the Lakers the lead for good.

Derrick Favors led the Jazz with 14 points off the bench. Fellow reserve Gordon Hayward scored 13 and Al Jefferson had 12. Paul Millsap and Randy Foye added 10 points each. Utah had won six of its previous seven.

Utah cut its deficit to 78-69 early in the fourth before the Lakers began dominating the final 10 minutes. World Peace hit his fifth 3-pointer and Bryant scored four points during a 14-5 spurt that pushed Los Angeles' lead to 92-74. The Lakers were 9 of 21 from long range.

The Lakers had lost 10 of their last 12 and remain seven games below .500.

The Lakers led by 12 points early in the third before Utah closed to 61-58, capped by Favors' alley-oop dunk off a pass from Earl Watson. The Lakers fought back from 3-point range. Chris Duhon and World Peace combined for three 3-pointers and Jodie Meeks dunked to keep them ahead 72-63 going into the fourth. Gasol and Millsap got into it verbally and received double technicals as the quarter was ending.

Utah closed to 47-37 at halftime.

The Lakers' 15-4 run to start the game was helped by World Peace and Nash combining for three 3-pointers. The Jazz quickly closed within two before the Lakers stretched their lead to 26-19.

NOTES: World Peace was one 3-pointer shy of equaling his career high of six set on Feb. 28, 2009, against Chicago. ... Bryant's assists were three off his career high of 15 set on Feb. 12, 2002, against Washington. ... Utah fell to 9-16 on the road.

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