Will the Threes Continue to Fall for the Lakers?

During the regular season, the three-point shooting for the Lakers wasn't exactly their biggest strength. The team shot a below average 36.1 percent from beyond the arc, a number that was good enough to put them 19th among the 30 NBA teams.

Through the first two games of the playoffs, however, it's been a different story.

It's been raining in L.A., but only in terms of the three-point field goals that have been falling through the nets inside Staples Center. The Lakers have connected on 18 of their 35 attempts from long range, which is an excellent clip of 51.4 percent. Trevor Ariza and Shannon Brown have been particularly hot, and have combined to make 11 of their 13 attempts in the first two games.

Phil Jackson said after Game 2 that the Lakers' game plan includes the outside shooting, due to the way that Utah "packs in" its interior defense.

"The preparation for this team is that they are really going to pack it in," Jackson said. "You have to get outside shots, they're going to force you to make outside shots, and we did that at home. Now the joy of this game is whether you can go on the road and make those same shots. And that's going to be our challenge when we go into Salt Lake [tonight]."

Kobe Bryant said that the only difference playing in Utah is that "a bunch of people in the crowd want to kill you." But while he has a history of performing in those hostile playoff environments, it will be a new experience for players like Ariza and Brown.

Whether or not the Lakers can continue to shoot like this from the outside will likely determine their fate in this series, especially as it shifts to Utah.

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