The Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 110-99 victory over the Utah Jazz. Kendall Marshall made his first start for the team and had a double-double with 20 points and 15 assists.
Marshall was thrust into the starting lineup after Jordan Farmar went down with a torn hamstring in the last game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
According to Serena Winters of Lakers Nation, head coach Mike D’Antoni compared Marshall to one of his former point guards in his time with the New York Knicks:
D’Antoni on Kendall Marshall: “I’m not making any comparison but Jeremy Lin did the same thing.”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 4, 2014
Lin had a string of strong games after being signed from the NBA D-League for the Knicks in the 2011-2012 season that sparked the team to a seven-game winning streak. Marshall was signed on December 20, 2013 from the Delaware 87ers of the D-League. It was his fifth game with the Lakers and his second game in double digits. He helped the Lakers end their losing streak and earn their first win of 2014.
Marshall started the game with a three-pointer and never looked back the rest of the night, finishing 8-12 from the field. He became the second Laker to score at least 10 points and at least 10 assists in his first start. The 22-year-old played 41 minutes and infused the Lakers with an energy that had been missing in recent games. Marshall also turned the ball over just one time and paced a Laker offense that scored 110 points.
D’Antoni now used six different starting point guards and 18 different starting lineups in 33 games. Barring injury, Marshall should be the starting point guard for at least all of January, as Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Farmar are not expected back anytime soon.
The Lakers end their homestand against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday and Marshall will try to repeat his performance.
In case you missed it, Nick Young pretended to be Kobe Bryant before Friday’s game.