The Lakers kept their game against the Utah Jazz close from start to finish despite poor play from Russell and the offense. They were decent offensively in the first quarter and a half but starting midway through the second quarter, the offense fell apart.
Despite a good defensive effort and a late fourth-quarter rally the Lakers fell to the Utah Jazz, 96-89.
The first quarter was an incredibly close game. The score was tied a total of eight times and the biggest lead was only three as there wasn’t a whole lot of offense from both teams. The Laker who scored the most was Nick Young who had eight points while D’Angelo Russell had 2 assists.
The second quarter was also very close for the majority. The Lakers were playing sloppy offense but kept themselves in the game by playing hard on defense and grabbing every rebound they could. While they tried their best they could stop the Jazz from taking a 48-43 lead.
One of the standouts from the first half included Timofy Mozgov who had eight points to go with three rebounds. It wasn’t just his offensive presence that made a mark on the game. It was noticeable when he came into the game as the Lakers rim protection was much better when he was in the paint instead of Tarik Black.
While Russell didn’t make a shot at all and missed three free throws in the first half he impacted the game in a different way. He had 3 assists and should have had close to eight if it weren’t for fouls that led to free throws.
The third quarter started off with some somber news. Brandon Ingram first came out of the game with knee pain in the first quarter but came back in the second quarter after being cleared. But after complaining of knee pain the Lakers pulled him for the remainder of the game.
The Lakers continued their sloppy play with Mozgov picking up 2 ugly fouls. The offense was in shambles, but despite that they kept the game close with good defense and good rebounding. It wasn’t pretty but the Lakers took the starters out and ended up taking the lead at one point, and ended the quarter in a 65-65 tie.
The Lakers started off the fourth quarter the way the third ended by making shots and playing defense. They ended up taking a four point lead but near the end of the quarter they started to fall apart again. After some questionable fouls the Lakers had a chance to tie up the game. They were only down two points and had the chance to take the lead but they gave up some big points to the Jazz and ended up running out of time.
Some of the biggest contributors to the Lakers include Luol Deng, Lou Williams, and Nick Young. Both Young and Williams were scoring machines with Nick Young scoring 13 points, and Lou Williams with 17 points and to the surprise of many he had six assists.
Fans will be disappointed in losing such a close game and thats a good things. The lakers are being competitive and keeping the games close against very good teams. They were good offensively against the rockets and today they weren’t, but what stood out to me was their defense. They were switching well and contesting shots and overall fighting on the defensive end.
This Laker squad may not win a lot but they will keep each game close and for the fans it will be much more enjoyable.
Catch the Lakers next on Sunday in Oklahoma against the Thunder at 4:00 Pm PST