Whether related to the Thanksgiving holiday or simply a clunker of a game that can occur during any given season, the Los Angeles Lakers did just enough to hold off the Utah Jazz in a 90-83 victory. It extended their winning streak to three games.
Lonzo Ball played with the same level of aggression he had against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the type of energy the Lakers have implored he play with. It didn’t amount to Ball shooting well from the field however, but Brandon Ingram carried the Lakers with 11 points in the first quarter.
Even with Ingram’s hot start, scoring was at a premium for much of the night. The Lakers fared better than the Jazz in the first half, shooting 43 percent to their 35 percent, but the teams went into halftime tied at 38.
The Lakers’ offense was hampered by 13 turnovers that led to 16 points for the Jazz. Utah trailed by as many as 11 in the first half but remained within striking distance and eventually took their first lead in the third quarter despite losing Donovan Mitchell to a rib contusion.
Mitchell endured a brief albeit rough night as he had just four points and went 2-for-9 from the field and without a make on any of his four 3-pointers. Mitchell did not return after suffering the injury in the second quarter.
The Lakers picked up their defensive intensity in the fourth quarter, which coupled by LeBron James beginning to assert himself on offense, created separation. But the Jazz again chipped away at their deficit to give themselves a chance at a comeback win.
They failed to get over the hump as empty possessions were further magnified by James connecting on a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock and Ball finding JaVale McGee for a slam dunk that extended the Lakers’ lead to nine points.