Lakers lose fourth of the season, 95-86 to Jazz
Jazz 95, Lakers 86 (final)
With the Lakers threatening, reserve guard Randy Foye converted four three-pointers in the fourth quarter to help Utah close out their second victory of the season.
The Lakers struggled to score most of the night, falling to 1-4 on the season and 15th place in the Western Conference.
In their worst offensive showing this season, the Lakers gave the Jazz (2-3) a cushion that was just too big to overcome. By the time the Lakers found their shot, their defense just wasn’t up to task, giving up 30 points to Utah in the fourth quarter.
Additionally, the Lakers’ 19 turnovers didn’t help matters. That’s been a recurring problem for Coach Mike Brown’s squad as they work to learn his offense and play without Steve Nash (non-displaced leg fracture).
The Jazz shot 44.6% from the field and were led by Al Jefferson’s 18 points, but it was Foye’s 17 that did the most damage.
The Lakers got 29 points from Kobe Bryant with more than half coming at the free-throw line (15 of 17). The team got only 12 points from their bench; the Jazz reserves contributed 36.
Jazz 65, Lakers 57 (end of third quarter)
In a difficult third quarter, the Lakers managed to trim Utah’s lead by two. A late 9-0 run would pull the Lakers back from 13 down to only four.
The Jazz were able to respond late but neither team was able to generate much offense. The Lakers needed almost four minutes to convert a field goal.
Jordan Hill was a major factor for the Lakers with his energy and offensive rebounding.
Howard was high for the Lakers through three quarters with 14 points. Mo Williams led Utah with 16.
Jazz 51, Lakers 41 (halftime)
Coach Mike Brown’s experimentation with Metta World Peace at shooting guard didn’t fare well against the Jazz.
Utah opened the second quarter on a 10-4 run in nearly three minutes, prompting Brown to return Kobe Bryant to the game.
The Lakers were scoreless for more two full minutes, until Jordan Hill hit the second of two free throws.
The Jazz’s lead climbed as high as 15 points before the Lakers answered with an 11-4 flurry.
Utah’s Mo Williams was the leading scorer with 14 points.
Dwight Howard had 11 for the Lakers.
Bryant converted only one field goal but tallied seven points. He also led the Lakers with four turnovers.
Jazz 25, Lakers 17 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers, playing their third consecutive game without Steve Nash, struggled in Utah in one of their worst offensive quarters of the season.
As a team, the Lakers shot only 26.3% from the field and had five turnovers. Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace each made two of three shots to score six points. The rest of the team converted only one of 13 shots (7.7%).
The Jazz didn’t have an explosive quarter (42.9% shooting), but the Lakers’ combination of poor shooting and turnovers gave Utah an early cushion.
Al Jefferson was the game’s leading scorer with eight points.
The Lakers visit the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night as both teams look to climb out from 1-3 starts.
The Jazz are almost always difficult to beat in Salt Lake City. The Lakers will play without Steve Nash, who is recovering from a non-displaced leg fracture.
Utah is a rare team that has size to match up against the Lakers with four capable big men (Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter).
The Lakers have only played one game on the road, a loss in Portland. A win in Utah will be a challenge.
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