A potential Western Conference Finals preview turned into a blowout as the Utah Jazz had six players in double-figures in a 114-89 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, who have lost four consecutive games. LeBron James’ streak of games with at least 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists was snapped at 32.
Mike Conley carried the Jazz early as he scored eight of their first 10 points of the game, but Talen Horton-Tucker and Markieff Morris were able to help the Lakers keep pace. With Rudy Gobert on the bench, Los Angeles found more room to score in the paint and went on an 8-0 run to take their first lead of the night.
Despite the Jazz shooting the 3-ball well, the Laker bench was able to play them even without James on the floor. They forced a few misses in the final minute of the first and only trailed 24-23.
Utah came out on fire to begin the second quarter, draining three consecutive triples that prompted an immediate timeout from Lakers head coach Frank Vogel. However, that did not stop the Jazz as they still were able to convert from downtown and keep L.A. from getting close.
The Lakers did not do themselves any favors as they committed a few careless turnovers that Utah turned into easy baskets. Marc Gasol and Kyle Kuzma were able to hit much-needed 3s, but a couple of baskets from Gobert put them down 63-47 at the half.
The Jazz made 14 3-pointers by halftime, which set a franchise record, and their hot shooting carried into the second half.
L.A. struggled to stop Utah at the top of the third as they had no answer for Gobert rolling to the rim. Trailing by over 20, the Lakers tried to make up ground by taking more 3s but were unsuccessful in their venture.
As Utah continued to extend their lead, James was removed from the game late in the third quarter and never returned. He entered the night averaging 38.2 minutes per game in February, which was up from 33.9 in January and 31.4 during December.
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