The Los Angeles Lakers took on the Utah Jazz in their final game of the road trip hoping to get in the win column. That was a tough task without LeBron James and Anthony Davis though, and as a result, the Lakers suffered a 122-109 loss.
The Laker defense was nearly non-existent out the gate as the Jazz got every look they wanted, leading to an early 10-point hole. Dwight Howard provided an unlikely source of scoring as he was able to find space against Rudy Gobert, chipping in seven points to help narrow things to 18-14.
Wenyen Gabriel briefly got Los Angeles within two points after converting an and-one opportunity, but Utah responded with a quick 5-0 run to put them back up by seven. D.J. Augustin and Carmelo Anthony provided some punch off the bench, and a Russell Westbrook bucket at the end of the quarter made it a 34-28 Laker deficit after one.
L.A.’s bench, led by Westbrook, played with more spirit to begin the second as they pushed the pace and looked to keep Utah’s defense on its heels. However, Donovan Mitchell began to assert himself by getting in the lane for layups to halt the Laker momentum.
Howard was once again an unlikely source of offense, finishing through contact and draining an unsuspected 3-pointer to keep L.A. within striking distance. Unfortunately, the Laker offense suffered a dry spell at the end of the quarter so they went into halftime trailing 66-55.
It was a great start for the Lakers coming out of the locker room as they keyed off a 7-0 run behind Malik Monk before Rudy Gobert ended it with an alley-oop from Mike Conley. Westbrook tried to jumpstart the offense by looking for his jumper, but the Jazz responded with great execution on the other end to retake a double-digit lead.
The bench did their best to infuse some much-needed energy back into the team, but Utah continued to hammer away and keep them from getting close. Anthony and Westbrook provided some momentary scoring relief, but the lack of defense left them looking at a 99-85 deficit going into the fourth.
Talen Horton-Tucker hit a sweet fadeaway jumper to kick the final period off, but the Lakers struggled to keep Gobert away from the offensive glass. Gobert again proved to be a problem on both ends but L.A. at least showed some fight and kept things interesting.
Despite a last-gasp effort led by Westbrook, the Purple and Gold were unable to muster up a run and they had to suffer a loss on the first end of their back-to-back set.
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