The Los Angeles Lakers traveled to the Utah Jazz Saturday night for the second end of a back-to-back, and despite a solid effort from Luke Walton’s team, the Lakers came up short as they fell 96-81, dropping to 2-4 on the season.
While the Lakers have a very highly touted rookie in point guard Lonzo Ball, it was the Jazz rookie guard that stole the show as he scored 22 points off the bench on 9-of-16 shooting, including a highlight putback dunk followed by a three that shifted the momentum in Utah’s favor for good.
Ball blamed the loss on himself, as he allowed Mitchell to get to the basket for the dunk and also had another rough shooting night, scoring nine points on 3-of-10 shooting while contributing two rebounds, four assists and two steals.
But Ball wasn’t the only Laker who struggled with his shot in the loss, as the Lakers as a team shot just 38.3 percent from the field and 22.7 percent from three-point range.
Walton realizes that shooting might not be his team’s biggest strength, as after the game he stressed that he wants his team to continue to play at a fast pace, getting out in transition and getting the ball in the paint, where the Lakers have been very successful this season leading the league in points in the paint.
Julius Randle echoed his coach’s thoughts after the game, saying he believes their offense looked stagnant against the Jazz topped ranked defense.
The Lakers have a couple days to get things figured out as they return to the court on Tuesday when they host the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center.