After giving up a 14-point lead in the second half, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to close out the Utah Jazz in overtime on Saturday afternoon, coming away with a 127-115 victory.
The Jazz opted to sit out Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley and Derrick Favors as they were on the second night of a back to back, but still were able to put up a fight thanks to their potent 3-point shooting. Utah shot 39% from beyond the arc, with Jordan Clarkson leading the team in scoring with 27 points.
Los Angeles looked well on their way to a win at the top of the fourth quarter, but another ill-timed scoring drought allowed Utah to climb back into the game. However, Dennis Schroder was the hero of the afternoon as he forced overtime with a drive to the rim and played well on both ends in the extra period to give the team the victory.
Schroder and Andre Drummond looked comfortable running pick-and-rolls with each other and the big man noted he thinks it is a viable play for them when they need a basket.
“I think for me personally, I’ve spoken about it before trying to find chemistry with guys on the court and we’ve found something that has really worked for us down the stretch and we kept going to it and they didn’t stop it,” Drummond said. “Now we know that’s something we can use down the stretch of games and throughout the game.”
Drummond is still getting acclimated, but he already has high praise for someone like Schroder.
“Dennis is a competitor. I’ve played against Dennis his whole career. I’ve gotten a chance to watch him and play against him and he’s always been that way his whole career and to be his teammate and see it firsthand, he’s an incredible player. 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.”
Schroder had arguably his best game in the Purple and Gold, scoring 25 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds in 39 minutes of action. The point guard was battling through an infection in his foot but showed no signs of slowing down as he was able to penetrate the teeth of the Jazz defense and either score at the rim or find players for open looks.
The Schroder-Drummond combination looked the best it has since the latter joined the team and that budding on-court chemistry has the makings of a potent weapon come playoff time.
Drummond on his outing against Jazz
Not to be outdone by his running mate, Drummond also had an impressive outing as the center finished with 27 points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block. However, Drummond was playful when asked about his performance.
“I think tonight was a good game for all of us. I think me personally it was a pretty solid game. I just played my game. I’m just out there to help this team the best way that I can.
“As a unit, we clicked on all cylinders. We didn’t allow adversity to get us out of our game because they did have a hell of a run down the stretch in the game to tie the game up and actually take the lead and put us in a position to almost lose the game with DS coming down with that great layup to put us into overtime. The chemistry is getting there. We’re taking it day by day and we’re having fun as we do it.”
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