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Five takeaways from the Lakers' win over Utah Jazz, 100-97

Jordan Clarkson's career-high 22 points and other takeaways from the Lakers' 100-97 win over the Utah Jazz

Here are five takeaways from the Lakers' 100-97 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

1.) There was a nice little showdown between rookie point guards Jordan Clarkson of the Lakers and Dante Exum of the Utah Jazz.

Clarkson, who was drafted in the second round with the 46th overall pick, played as if he wanted to show something to Exum, who was drafted in the first round with the fifth overall pick.

When Clarkson dunked over Exum in the second quarter, Clarkson stood and flexed his muscles. His teammates got off the bench and high-fived the smiling Clarkson.

“It was just kind of one of them things,” Clarkson said about his emotional reaction to the dunk. “It was a good feeling.”

Clarkson finished with a career-high 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting. Exum had three points.

“I just came out and played aggressive,” Clarkson said.

2.) The Lakers showed some resolve in pulling out the victory in Utah.

They were down by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, but rallied back.

Even when they tried to give the game away, the Lakers still stood tall.

Jordan Hill, who had 16 points off the bench, made two free throws to give the Lakers a 96-92 lead with 18.7 seconds left.

But Gordon Hayward made two free throws with 13.7 seconds remaining.

The Lakers answered with two free throws by Wayne Ellington for a 98-94 lead that looked secure with 9.3 seconds left.

But Hill made an unwise play, fouling Derrick Favors while he made a layup with 2.2 seconds left. Favors made the free throw, cutting the Lakers’ lead to 98-97.

Robert Sacre saved Hill by making two free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining.

“We’ve got a bunch of resilient guys,” Lakers Coach Byron Scott said. “They just kept playing and giving us an opportunity.”

3.) It’s clear that Ryan Kelly is having difficulties playing small forward.

At 6 feet 11 and 230 pounds, Kelly is better suited to be a power forward, Scott said. But the Lakers have three other players playing that position.

Kelly found himself trying to defend Utah small forward Hayward, but it didn’t go so well.

Kelly picked up two quick fouls less than three minutes into Wednesday night’s game and was forced to take a seat on the bench.

He didn’t score, missing all five of his field-goal attempts.

4.) Because of so many injuries in their backcourt, the Lakers were forced to go with a three-guard rotation of Clarkson, Ellington and Jeremy Lin.

Clarkson played 34 minutes 6 seconds in scoring his career high.

Ellington played 38:28 in getting his first career double of 15 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, and Lin played 23:38.

5.) The Lakers played some of their best defense of the season, forcing the Jazz into 21 turnovers.

The Lakers played a little full-court, trapping defense that caught the Jazz by surprise.

Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner

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