The Lakers have dropped six in a row and continue to deal with injuries as Jordan Farmar suffered another tear in his hamstring in Tuesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Tonight, they take on the Utah Jazz for the second time in four games and look to avenge the road loss suffered on December 27.
The team will be without Farmar and Kendall Marshall will be making his first start for the Lakers. Head coach Mike D’Antoni will be using his 18th different starting lineup with Marshall joined by Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, Pau Gasol and Robert Sacre.
The Lakers took an early 7-2 lead with five quick points from Marshall, who hit a three in the opening possession. The starters kept up the pace to push the lead to 26-8 with Marshall and Gasol leading the way. The Jazz started 4-20 from the field, while the Lakers started 10-14 and 2-4 from behind the three-point line. Marshall led the way with seven points, five assists, and three rebounds as the Lakers had seven different players score. As a team, they had just two turnovers and ended the quarter leading 30-12.
A tough putback by Jordan Hill, a steal and layup by Wesley Johnson, and a three by Shawne Williams capped a fast start to the second quarter by the Lakers. The Jazz cut the deficit to 12 before a Sacre dunk and consecutive Gasol baskets pushed the score to 43-27. The Lakers put the Jazz in the bonus about midway through the quarter, as the Jazz continued to chip away at the lead. Gasol began to heat up and ended the quarter leading all scorers with 16 points on 8-11 shooting. A Meeks three at the end of the quarter pushed the lead back to double digits and the Lakers headed into the half with a 52-40 lead.
To start the second half, Marshall continued his strong play with two baskets to put him into double digits for the night. The Jazz battled and cut the lead to single digits with 8:30 left in the quarter. A Williams three put the Lakers back up by 14 and gave Marshall his 11th assist of the game. The lead reached 21 points before a Richard Jefferson three-pointer stopped the run. The Lakers had five players in double digits, led by Gasol’s 19 points. A Meeks’ layup gave the Lakers an 83-67 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Lakers struggled to begin the quarter and allowed the Jazz to cut into the lead. Marshall scored two more baskets to push his total to 15 points but the Jazz got within six points with just over five minutes left to play. The Lakers fell to below 50 percent from the field before Gasol and Young made consecutive shots to push the lead back to eight. Meeks sealed the game with a three-pointer to put the team up 99-92 with 1:14 to go. Led by Marshall’s 20 points and 15 assists, the Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 110-99 victory over the Jazz.