The Los Angeles Lakers endured a rough stretch in the fourth quarter of the clash against the Utah Jazz on Saturday afternoon before running away with a 127-115 overtime win.
L.A. allowed Utah to find the rhythm on offense and come back from a double-digit deficit in the last minutes of the game. The Jazz drowned the reigning NBA champions under a flood of threes spearhead by Joe Ingles and former Laker Jordan Clarkson. The Western Conference’s current No. 1 seed finished the night with 59 3-point attempts, sinking 23 of them.
Dennis Schroder’s driving layup with less than 10 seconds left on the clock sent the showdown to overtime, during which L.A. outscored Utah 17-5, quickly killing the game. Head coach Frank Vogel thought the circumstances of the victory could make for a teaching moment for his players.
“Yeah, I prefer not to lose the lead and just secure the game (laughs),” he said. “But there’s positives in every situation like that. To have a team storm back into a game and take the lead the way they did and to not panic is definitely something we can draw on going forward because there’s gonna be another team at some point in the future that makes a run like that and we have this experience to know that we’ll prevail.”
Schroder praised his teammates for keeping poise despite Utah’s late charge. “It’s a game of runs,” he said. “I think we kept cool. … We knew they were going to bring a lot of intensity in the game and they’re going to shoot a lot of threes. I think they shot 59 threes.
“End of the day, I’m just proud of the group staying calm and keep playing through the runs they had.”
Andre Drummond: Schroder is a competitor
Schroder orchestrated the Lakers’ game in an all-around performance on Saturday, adding eight assists to his 25 points and leading the defensive efforts. His dimes allowed Andre Drummond to erupt for team-high 27 points, proving the developing chemistry between the two players.
After the game, the center said he had a lot of respect for Schroder’s hustle, particularly on defense. “Dennis is a competitor,” he said. “He doesn’t give up, he plays every possession like it is his last. Defensively he’s far more advanced than what people give him credit for. He’s incredible defensively. He’s great on both ends of the court.”
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