The Lakers come off a victory on Christmas against their crosstown rivals. The Purple and Gold had seven players score in double figures with Nick Young and Timofey Mozgov leading the team with 19 points a piece. Their next opponent, the Utah Jazz are in the middle of a three-game losing streak and will look to get back on track against the Lakers.
Gordon Hayward started off the quarter with the first 8 points for his team, but the Jazz hurt themselves by turning the ball over. D’Angelo Russell looked aggressive by driving hard to the basket, which helped open up his teammates. Utah was able to executed late in the shot clock and got to the rim whenever they wanted. The Lakers Both teams went on runs, but neither team was able to increase the lead to over seven points.
Luol Deng was the best Laker in the first quarter, scoring nine points and playing good defense. Deng was able to force turnovers and put the Lakers’ offense in transition. Both teams played sloppy, turning the ball over a lot, which led to some transition points.
The quarter ended with the Jazz leading 28-25 over the Lakers
Deng opened the quarter with a block, which resulted in points on the other end. The home team had stretches where they were able to get out and run, but Quin Synder’s disciplined team was able to slow down the game and set up their halfcourt defense. The Jazz’s patient offense still was getting the best of Los Angeles, who couldn’t stop the Jazz driving into the painted area.
The half court offense for Los Angeles was struggling to get their way but was able to get contributions from Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and Thomas Robinson. Russell continued to look to make plays for his teammates, but his passes were often deflected and even dropped.
The overall pace of the game favored the Utah Jazz, who like to win games by executing their half court offense and playing stifling defense. Luke Walton got his players to keep their hands active in passing lanes and bother the Jazz enough to keep them from pulling away.
Both teams continued to turn over the ball, but the Jazz were bigger culprits, allowing the Lakers to go into the half with a 52-48 lead.
The Lakers opened the quarter with misses from both D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young, but that was followed up by travel from Rodney Hood. The Lakers looked to get Deng involved in the low post, but he missed his opportunity the Lakers come down with an offensive rebound by the possession ended with the ball bouncing off Russell’s leg.
On the other end, the Lakers forced both Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert to miss badly. Russell was able to get to the rim with ease but missed an easy basket. After the miss by Russell, both the Lakers and Jazz took turns turning over the ball, combining for seven turnovers before Shelvin Mack was able to hit a jumper for the Jazz.
The Lakers first scratch of the quarter came from Julius Randle at the free throw line. Rudy Gobert came back on the next possession only to be blocked by Timofey Mozgov, which led to a Nick Young mid jumper on the other end.
Hayward seemed to be sick of the Jazz’s misfortunes on the offensive end and began to assert himself. Hayward started to force his way to the free throw line, dove after 50-50 balls and was flying at the basket to get his team back on track. Hayward stat for the last four minutes of the quarter and his team struggled without him.
Randle was the most productive Laker in the third quarter. The brand new father was able to grab multiple offensive rebounds, against a big opposing frontline and score points in the paint. Lou Williams was able to hit the Lakers’ second three-pointer of the game and scored nine of his 13 points to help the Lakers regain the lead.
The quarter ended with the Lakers up 74-72
The quarter started off with a quick tip in by Derrick Favors, but the Lakers reacted with a transition dunk by Brandon Ingram. The Lakers offense stalled a little, which allowed the Jazz to pull ahead to an 80-76 led. Joe Johnson and his team locked down on the defensive end and force the Lakers into some ugly offensive possessions. Johnson was also able to take over on the offensive end by posting up the weaker Ingram.
The Lakers got offensive boosts from Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle. The Lakers were able to play tough defense and got out in transition to take the lead back from the Utah Jazz.
Gordon Hayward wasn’t going to lie down and was able to drive past Julius Randle and put him on a poster with a thunderous two-handed slam, and then he found his teammate Joe Ingles for three to give the Jazz a 95-93 lead. The Jazz offense was being carried about their star player and the Lakers offense saw Julius Randle take over down the stretch.
With desperation setting in for both teams, Utah went back to Gordon Hayward and was guarded by Randle. Hayward missed the shot, but with Randle guarding him, Gobert was able to quickly pick up the offensive board to tie the game at 99. On the next possession, the Lakers burned too much clock before getting into their offense, which led to a Lou Williams shot that nearly bounced off the shot clock. The next play, the Jazz offense found Ingles in the corner for three to take the 102-99 lead.
Julius Randle came back on the next play and drove hard to the basket got fouled and nearly completed the three point play. Randle was only able to make one of the two free throws, with Rudy Gobert pulling down the rebound. Gobert missed two three throws, and the Lakers got the rebound, giving them one more chance down two points, but Russell air-balled the potential game-winning three and the Lakers fell 102-100.