The Lakers continue to battle with injuries, but somehow they managed to win their last two out of three games. Tonight, they faced the Utah Jazz in a battle between two of the worst teams in the Western Conference. This was their second game in a six game home stand and a game that could have draft lottery implications. Before hosting the Jazz, the Lakers had lost five consecutive games at the Staples Center.
The Lakers started the game slow and the Jazz took an early 7-0 lead. Marvin Williams came out red hot and scored some quick buckets, but Shawne Williams had a responded with six points of his own and the Lakers went on a 14-4 run. The entire Lakers squad started to shoot well and the pace began to favor the Lakers. Chris Kaman and Williams were responsible for 16 of the Lakers 22 points. The Lakers would eventually go on a 18-0 run and would take a 27-16 lead into the second quarter.
The momentum quickly shifted towards the Jazz at the beginning of the second quarter. They went on a 8-1 run and cut the lead to four behind Enes Kanter’s six points to start the quarter. Midway through the second, the game was tied at 28, but the Jazz took control of the pace and the Lakers didn’t play much defense. The shots stopped falling for the Lakers and the Jazz looked poised to enter halftime with the lead. Both teams traded baskets as the quarter winded down, but the Jazz were able to pull away late. The Jazz had a 48-37 at the half.
Chris Kaman was a man on a mission tonight, he was the Lakers best offensive weapon tonight. The Jazz were sloppy early on and allowed the Lakers to score some easy buckets. Midway through the quarter, the Lakers were able to cut the lead down to one. Once the Lakers played better defensively, they slowed down the Jazz and got back into the game. The Lakers transition started to ramp up, but both teams warmed up inside the arc and traded buckets. The Jazz didn’t allow the Lakers to regain the lead and finished the third quarter with a 68-60 lead. Chris Kaman led all scorers with 19 points.
A few Jazz turnovers got the Lakers going in transition early on in the fourth, but the Lakers were not able to cut into the Jazz’ lead. With ten minutes left in the game, the Jazz once again grabbed a double digit lead. The Lakers could not get stops on the defensive end and they could not hit beyond the arc, which would gave the Jazz a safe lead as time winded down. Alec Burks took it upon himself to give his team the victory, as he scored 10 points in the final quarter. The Jazz’s lead would extend to as much as 20 points.
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