The Los Angeles Lakers put an exclamation point on their back-to-back situation as they defeated the Utah Jazz, 121-96.
The Jazz exposed the Lakers’ three-point defense early as they knocked down three of them to take the first lead, but Los Angeles quickly captured the momentum after Danny Green hit two of his own. LeBron James helped keep the pressure on Utah as he made several drives into the paint that resulted in six easy points.
Anthony Davis got off to a fast start as well as he picked on Utah’s frontcourt defenders and scored eleven points in the period. A Kyle Kuzma three to beat the buzzer extended Los Angeles’ lead and they went into the second quarter up 34-26.
Alex Caruso‘s defensive instincts were on display to start the quarter as he drew a couple of quick offensive fouls on Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert, setting the tone for the rest of the team. James continued to torch the Jazz, but this time from the perimeter as he knocked down the open jumpers they were conceding to help push Los Angeles’ lead into double digits.
With Ingles and Gobert missing from the lineup due to foul trouble, the Lakers had little resistance getting the looks they wanted on the offensive end. A pair of threes from Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to close the second gave Los Angeles a 65-47 halftime lead.
Donovan Mitchell wasted no time getting to work as he opened the third with three straight buckets that seemed to reinvigorate his team. A quick timeout from head coach Frank Vogel did the Lakers good as they settled back down and steadily built their lead back up.
James put on a passing clinic as he found several players from some gorgeous assists, highlighted by two consecutive dimes to Caldwell-Pope on backdoor cuts. Davis continued to dominate the interior while the bench provided solid production on both ends to help give the Lakers a 94-75 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The purple and gold picked up the defensive intensity as they got a couple of steals and blocks to get out in transition and push their lead to 20.
Rajon Rondo was key to their run as he found James and Kuzma on the fast break while also scoring seven quick points and the Jazz could not recover.