After last night’s close loss, the Los Angeles Lakers head to Utah to face the Jazz on the second night of a back-to-back. The Lakers would be even more short-handed as Julius Randle is unlikely to play thanks to a viral infection. Could they overcome all the obstacles to leave Utah with a much-need win?
With a starting lineup of Jose Calderon, Nick Young, Luol Deng, Tarik Black, and Timofey Mozgov, offense was going to be tough to come by for these Lakers against the league’s top defensive team. After a Tarik dunk to start the game, the Lakers allowed 10 straight Jazz points led by newly-named All-Star Gordon Hayward.
Luke Walton would go to his bench pretty early as Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson immediately made an impact. Young hit a couple of threes to close the gap, but a couple of baskets from Alec Burks kept Utah ahead.
The Jazz kept things at their pace and led the Lakers 23-16 at the end of the quarter thanks to an Ivica Zubac late layup.
The Lakers got off to a good start in the second thanks to Lou Williams’ magical foul drawing abilities and Ivica Zubac having another solid outing. A layup from Zubac gave the Lakers a 29-27 lead, but Utah would respond with a 10-2 run to pull back ahead.
Hayward continued to dominate the Lakers, but LA fought back as baskets from Clarkson and Mozgov made it a four-point game. Rodney Hood hit a three-pointer, but Young and Clarkson again responded with buckets as the Lakers stayed within three, 44-41 at the half.
Young, Clarkson, and Zubac all had eight points to lead the Lakers while Lou Williams added seven.
The Lakers got off to a good start in the third as the starters came out with much more energy. In particular, Mozgov really got going after a flagrant foul from Favors.
Deng and Young got things going early, but Mozgov decided to turn it up after the flagrant, attacking Rudy Gobert despite his shot-blocking presence. Mozgov finished a layup right over Gobert then followed with a dunk to put the Lakers up by four. Unfortunately things would go down hill for the Lakers after that.
Utah would go on a 16-0 run led by the All-Star Hayward who the Lakers just had no answer for. Even putting the bench in couldn’t calm things down. Eventually a pair of free throws from Zubac and a layup from Williams kept the Lakers within 10 points at the end of the third quarter. They trailed 70-60.
The Lakers’ defense was their enemy early in the fourth as they could not stop the Jazz from getting baskets. Favors got a couple of close range buckets as Utah pulled ahead by 14. Once again, however, the Lakers would fight back.
The trio of Clarkson, Zubac, and Williams led the charge for the Lakers as they refused to go down without a fight. Buckets from Williams and Clarkson brought the Lakers back within four points, but the Jazz immediately responded and pushed their lead back to eight points.
A Young three and a Clarkson layup once again made it a four-point game, but the Lakers couldn’t get stops when they needed to down the stretch. Hayward and Diaw provided the final blows as the Lakers dropped their eighth game in nine contests.
Zubac had a second straight double-double with a career-high 16 points and 10 rebounds. Williams led the Lakers with 20 points, and Clarkson added 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists as the Lakers fell 96-88.