Lakers vs Jazz | Utah outlasted the Lakers on Friday night to snap their two-game winning run. Utah had a good start and a hot finish. Even the Lakers’ newest superstar, Russell Westbrook Off The Bench, was unable to stop the Utah Jazz on Friday, who may have been the most unexpected team of the short season.
Westbrook scored a game-high 28 points off the bench, a career-high for a reserve, but Utah utterly burned the nets all night to defeat them by a score of 130-116.
LeBron James had a difficult game, scoring 17 points on 7-19 shooting, adding 11 rebounds and 8 assists. Anthony Davis dominated the first half, scoring 20 points, but he struggled in the latter two quarters, earning only two points.
In the first half, the Jazz was scorching hot from the field, highlighted by a 40-point opening quarter. They scarcely slowed pace in the second session, scoring a total of 75 points in the first two.
Despite what was, for a big portion of those looks, solid defense from the Lakers, Utah shot 60.8% from the field and hit nine of their 16 3-point tries. The purple and gold were more than competent offensively as well, making 43.8% of their 3-point tries and 54.5% of their total efforts, keeping them barely within reach at the break.
The third quarter seemed to follow a similar pattern as the margin increased to as much as 16 points at 85-69 after a Kelly Olynyk basket. LeBron James’ huge slam highlighted an 11-3 Lakers run in response, which brought the score to 88-80. After swapping baskets, the Lakers put together another run, with Russ at the helm, to cut the deficit to two points at 95-93.
The Jazz increased some breathing room to end the third quarter, but that would be as close as the Lakers would come because as the fourth quarter started, they swiftly increased their advantage to double digits.
Lakers vs Jazz | The Sixth Man of the Year campaign for Russ is actually becoming more plausible with each game that goes by, huh? The extent to which Russ has accepted and embraced the job is amazing, and Friday was the latest and best illustration of that.
Ironically, it was LeBron who labored for most of the game and kept the Lakers from winning. The important caveat here is that he’s still dealing with the sickness he’s had since last weekend as well as left foot pain.
The King had a difficult week, but perhaps he can take some medication, recover over the next couple of days, and be ready for the Lakers’ game against the Cavaliers on Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. tip-off.