The Los Angeles Lakers have been disappointing in Summer League this year, losing three of their four games despite having a roster full of players who will likely be on the team this year. They hoped to end their summer schedule on a high note as they played the Utah Jazz.
Despite their most recent loss to the Dallas Mavericks, there were reasons for optimism for the Lakers. Julius Randle had by far his best game, scoring 17 points and getting any shot he wanted. D’Angelo Russell also looked more comfortable and had only three turnovers after averaging more than double that in the first three games.
The Jazz are led by impressive guard Bryce Cotton as well as a solid front line in first-round pick Trey Lyles and Jack Cooley. Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown have been the leading scorers for the Lakers this summer.
Both teams got off to a slow start as the game remained scoreless for the first couple of minutes. The Jazz finally got on the board with a pair of free throws and added a layup before Julius Randle got the Lakers first basket with a nice jumper. Trey Lyles got a putback slam in transition as the Jazz went ahead 7-2. D’Angelo Russell hit a jumper and Jordan Clarkson hit Tarik Black for an easy dunk as the Lakers closed the deficit to three. Clarkson would hit Jabari Brown for a wide open three to tie the game. Russell knocked down a three in rhythm to get the Lakers back within a point at 13-12 at the end of a low-scoring first quarter.
Tarik Black got the Lakers first basket of the quarter to tie the game at 14 and after a Jazz basket, Jabari split a pair of free throws to keep the Lakers within one at 16-15. Russell made a nice move to hit an open mid-range jumper to give the Lakers their first lead of the game. The Jazz came right back with some free throws to re-take the lead. Randle bullied Lyles for an easy layup to keep the game leveled at 19. Randle had another strong drive to draw a foul, but made only one of his two free throws, though he did come up with a steal on the next possession. Russell committed a clear path foul and Lyles hit back-to-back threes as the Lakers suddenly pushed their lead to nine. Clarkson hit Black for an easy layup to end the Jazz run, but Lyles hit Jack Cooley for a dunk. Jabari hit a three and Clarkson had a nice follow-up layup to bring the Lakers back within four. Jabari hit Black for a dunk as the Lakers continued their run, and Black followed up with a nice hook as the Lakers got within three at 34-31. Russell hit a nice jumper and Clarkson blocked Bryce Cotton’s shot on the other end as the Lakers trailed 36-33 at halftime.
The Lakers got the third quarter started with a turnover after failed attempts to convert from Julius Randle and Tarik Black. After a bucket from Bryce Cotton, Randle gets the Lakers on the board with an easy basket following a broken play. Jordan Clarkson threw one down to cut the deficit to two, 39-37. Jabari Brown made an aggressive move to the basket to draw the foul and hit two free throws to tie the game at 39. Jazz countered with a three to get back in front. Randle missed a jumper ultimately leading to another three by Utah from Cotton. Jazz led by six with Cotton heading to the line. Cotton converted on the free throw. D’Angelo Russell made his first bucket in the second half with a smooth drive to the basket. Trey Lyles hit a pair of free throws extending the Jazz lead to seven. Jabari Brown missed a three, but Clarkson followed it up with a tip-in. Black committed a foul on Cotton which sent him back to the charity stripe for two more made free throws. Black connects on a baby hook in the paint. Jazz strike right back with another three. Randle connects with Clarkson on a nice pass, Jordan threw it down for two. Randle imposed his will in the paint for an easy basket and went to the line to convert on a free throw. Putback dunk by Jajuan Johnson gave Jazz seven-point lead. Johnson headed to the line and converted on both free throws. Black forced his way to the basket and came up short, but got the foul sending him to the line. Black hit both shots from the charity stripe. Jared Cunningham fouled and headed to the line converting both free throws. Jazz led up to nine. Clarkson turned it over, but recovered with a steal and hit an two-footer. Brock Motum got on the board with a floater for Utah. Clarkson committed a second consecutive offensive foul. Black back to the line hitting both freebies. Third quarter closes with Jazz leading, 63-56.
After multiple empty possessions for both teams, Olivier Hanlan breaks the drought with a layup off a turnover. Larry Nance Jr. counters with a bucket in the paint. Hanlan scored again to extend Jazz lead to nine. Russell got on the board in the fourth with a jumper. Cunningham threw down a dunk. Russell hit another jumper. Anthony Brown cuts deficit to five with a dunk on a breakaway. Cunningham hit a pair of free throws. Russell hit yet another jumper increasing his total to 17 points on the night. Brown fouled J.J. O’Brien sending him to the charity stripe. O’Brien hit both free throws. Randle entered the game. Russell connected on a fourth straight jumper. Jack Cooley hit an easy putback in the paint. O’Brien connected on an uncontested layup. Jazz lead back to nine once again. Randle dished to Russell for the layup in transition. Randle headed to the line for two. Julius connected on one out of two free throws. A pair of free throws from Motum. Clarkson puts in on a nice drive. Jazz led down to five, 78-73. Brown bailed out the Lakers with a three as the shot clock buzzer sounds. Motum put Jazz back up four. Brown hit a circus shot to cut Utah’s lead to two. Cotton fouled by Randle. Connected on the first free throw and the second. Four-point lead for Utah with 18.6 seconds left in the game. Cotton hit another pair of free throws. Lakers fall apart in the final moments leading to a win for Utah and another loss for Los Angeles, 84-78.[divide]