SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Jazz had plenty of chances to crumble and nearly did.
It let a 12-point lead slip away in the last four minutes and faced overtime against league MVP Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Instead of wilting, Utah played its toughest defense of the playoffs and pulled out a 123-115 victory Sunday, tying the Western Conference semifinals 2-2.
The Jazz held the Lakers to two field goals in overtime and went 9 for 9 from the foul line while outscoring the Lakers 15-7.
"We never have any doubts in our confidence," said Utah's Andrei Kirilenko, who blocked Bryant twice in overtime and converted a three-point play with 35 seconds remaining to help the Jazz pull away.
After opening the series with two losses in Los Angeles, the Jazz came home and answered with two wins to make it a best-of-three series, starting Wednesday at Staples Center.
Game 6 will be Friday in Salt Lake City, where the Jazz is 4-1 in the playoffs.
Deron Williams had 29 points and 14 assists, and Carlos Boozer scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and grabbed 12 rebounds. Mehmet Okur had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Kirilenko finished with 15 points and five blocks -- stuffing Bryant twice as the Lakers tried to rally in overtime.
Bryant, who said he was fighting back spasms from early in the first quarter, finished with 33 points and 10 assists.
"No excuses for me. (Kirilenko) did a great job," Bryant said. "They did a terrific job. They did big plays when they needed to."
Los Angeles helped by sending the Jazz to the foul line 20 more times than the Lakers, who made it worse by missing 11 of 25 foul shots.
Lamar Odom had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and Pau Gasol scored 23 and pulled down 10 boards for the Lakers. Derek Fisher finished with 15 points, scoring 10 in a row as the Lakers rallied in the fourth, but had no assists and got into early foul trouble.
Coach Phil Jackson said the Lakers were depending too much on Bryant.
"I still thought he went to the basket hard at the end," Jackson said. "He was still able to get to the basket and do what he wanted to do. He was out there to make plays."
Utah was 40 for 76 (53 percent) and had a huge advantage at the foul line, making 37 of 45 free throws. The Jazz reserves also dominated the Lakers', outscoring them 39-16.
Williams had a chance to win it at the end of regulation but was blocked by Fisher, his teammate a year ago.
Utah backup guard Ronnie Price also had a big game, despite finishing with four points and two assists. Price had to get four stitches for a cut over his right eye after he was flagrantly fouled early in the second quarter by Ronny Turiaf, who was ejected. Price received stitches in the locker room and came back in the second half with one of the plays of the game.