Rapid Reaction: Lakers 110, Jazz 99
January, 3, 2014
By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- Perhaps the 18th time's a charm (as in the Los Angeles Lakers used their 18th different starting lineup through 33 games on Friday). Maybe the Lakers finally got tired of losing to teams that have worse records than they do.
Whatever the case, L.A. was able to snap its season-high six-game losing streak by completely controlling the Utah Jazz from start to finish in a 110-99 win, never trailing the whole game.
Leading the way as newcomers to the starting five were Robert Sacre (four points and a career-high 10 rebounds) and an incredible 20-point, 15-assist night from Kendall Marshall that started with him scoring the first five points of the night and never looking back, even adding the cherry-on-top 3 to put L.A. up by eight with less than a minute remaining and a layup in the final seconds to assure the win would be by double-digits.
How it happened: The Lakers held the Jazz to just 12 points in the first quarter, a season low for opponent's points allowed in any quarter, while igniting for 30 points of their own as Marshall put up seven points and five assists in the period. L.A. tacked on another 31-point quarter in the third to take a 16-point lead into the final frame. Utah was able to cut it to four with a Trey Burke bucket with 2:07 to play, but Nick Young responded with a jumper with 1:48 to go to push it back to six. Derrick Favors got a dunk on Utah's next possession, but Jodie Meeks was the go-to guy the next time down, making a 3 to give L.A. a 99-92 lead with 1:18 remaining. Utah never made it closer than a two-possession game the rest of the way.
What it means: L.A. has a point guard. Not saying that Marshall can have as magical performances every night as he did against Utah, but he proved he can play at the very least. Which is all a team that's missing Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry already could ask for.
Hits: Pau Gasol looked to be totally over the upper respiratory issue that had been plaguing him, going off for 23 points on 10-for-17 shooting, 17 rebounds and eight assists.
Despite shooting just 6-for-14, Young (16 points) kept his double-digit scoring streak alive, pushing the total to 19 games.
Meeks scored 18.
Wes Johnson returned from gastroenteritis to score 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting.
Shawne Williams scored 10 points and went 3-for-3 from 3.
Misses: L.A. had seven turnovers in the second half after just four in the first half.
Stat of the game: The last Laker to have 20 points and 15 assists in a regular-season game before Marshall was Kobe Bryant on Feb. 12, 2002, against Washington.
Up next: The Lakers host the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, a team that snapped an eight-game losing streak on Friday, before going on to play 10 of their next 11 games on the road.