Rookie guard Jordan Clarkson helped the Lakers win their second consecutive game on Wednesday night in Utah against the Jazz by scoring a career-high 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting.
Clarkson took over the starting duties at point guard on Jan. 23 against the San Antonio Spurs. In 13 games as a starter, Clarkson has scored in double figures in nine, averaging 13.6 points a game.
“I’m getting into my pull-up [jumper], being able to work off screens, finding guys,” said Clarkson about his recent performance, giving partial credit to one of his teammates. “It makes it a lot easier having [Carlos] Boozer on the court, a veteran guy that can knock down shots.”
“He’s out there talking to me throughout the whole time,” Clarkson continued.
Boozer was initially the Lakers’ starter at power forward to open the season but was moved to the bench for a stretch while Coach Byron Scott started Ed Davis at the four.
The veteran Boozer was moved back onto the first team before the Lakers’ win Sunday over the Boston Celtics, followed by the second win in Utah. Boozers provided a steady 13 points and seven rebounds a game, while shooting 47.8% from the field.
Clarkson has gotten a lot of support from the more experienced players on the team as he tries to find his way as a first-year player.
“Carlos Boozer, guys like Rob [Sacre], Wayne [Ellington], Ed, surprisingly Nick [Young] too -- Nick talks to me a lot as well,” Clarkson said of the players giving him advice. “Jeremy [Lin] talks to me a lot too.”
It takes a moment for Young’s advice to hit home.
“Nick is one of those guys who throws some off-the-wall stuff, that you’ve got to think about for a minute, ‘Oh, alright, I understand what you’re talking about now,’ ” Clarkson said, laughing.
The rookie also credits Scott for the opportunity to play big minutes and make decisions as the team’s point guard.
“My first start, back against San Antonio, I think the first 10 or 11 plays, he’s like, ‘It’s on you,’ ” Clarkson said. “It’s kind of one of those things, where you’re thrown in the fire, but it’s a good learning experience for me.
“It’s a good feeling.”