The Lakers are back home tonight and will take on the Utah Jazz after dropping both games to the Golden State Warriors in their trip to China. Pau Gasol will start at center and will be playing alongside Shawne Williams replacing Chris Kaman, who is still dealing with gastroenteritis. Nash will also be starting although there were some concerns whether he would play due to pain in the neck area. Steve Blake and Nick Young will also be in the starting line-up.
The Lakers had a horrible start to the game missing their first 7 field goals before finally getting a shot to go down by Pau Gasol. Facing Utah’s two big men Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors the Lakers had trouble getting rebounds both on the defensive and offensive end. The Lakers struggled to get a rhythm going offensively and had difficulty getting the ball inside. Wesley Johnson came into the game midway through the quarter and kept the Lakers in it scoring seven points. At the end of the quarter the Lakers trailed 18-26.
The Lakers started the quarter on fire with Jodie Meeks and Johnson hitting a 3-pointer each to start off. A big dunk from Xavier Henry off a bad pass by Utah had the crowd cheering and the Lakers up by two to take their first lead of the game. The Lakers found themselves on a huge 19-2 run with their bench playing well. The team did a great job defensively making the Jazz turn the ball over and work hard to find a way to score. Better ball movement had the Lakers looking much better than they did in the first quarter. Wesley Johnson played a very good first half leading the team with 14 points. The bench finished 29 points and the Lakers finished the first half ahead of the Jazz 51-45.
A slow start to the quarter but a couple of buckets inside the paint had the Jazz only down by 2 points. Gasol and Meeks showed some range by making a 3-pointer each soon after. An assist by Steve Blake led to a dunk by Williams to have the Lakers go up by 11, the largest lead of the night so far. The Lakers continued to do well offensively with Nick Young hitting a jumper and a layup midway through the quarter. Johnson showed he can pass as well as score with a great pass to Jordan Hill who finished it with a dunk with three minutes left in the quarter. The Lakers had trouble on defense with the Jazz making a few shots on their end to close in on the lead. A couple of free throws by Hill put the Lakers up by six to end of the quarter.
The quarter started with two quick fouls by the Jazz and a turnover by Jordan Farmar. Farmar quickly made up for it making two 3-pointers, dishing out an assist and blocking a shot all within a few minutes. The Lakers and the Jazz exchanged a few buckets but the game was still being controlled by the Lakers. Towards the end of the quarter the Jazz fought hard to keep the game close but the Lakers bench held their own being led by Farmar who played well throughout the second half. After two losses in China, the Lakers finally get in the winning column with a win over the Jazz, 108-94.
VIDEO: Jordan Farmar Post-Game Interview