Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Jazz 96, Lakers 79
By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- Any way you add it up, the numbers just aren't in the Los Angeles Lakers' favor these days.
L.A. trotted out its 26th starting lineup this season against a team that had won only 17 of its first 50 games, and then proceeded to blow a 15-point lead en route to its 34th defeat of the season. It also was the Lakers' sixth straight loss at home, which ties a franchise record.
Steve Nash played only 17 minutes and had to exit early for the second straight game because of nerve-root irritation in his left leg.
Even Wesley Johsnson, who had a decent game overall with 15 points and six rebounds, tallied his own unfortunate stat -- bricking an alley-oop dunk off the back iron in the game's final minutes.
The worst number of them all? There are still 30 games left of this mess this season.
How it happened: L.A. had only one team turnover in the first quarter as it led by as many as 15 points early and took a 27-16 advantage into the second quarter. Utah came out hot to start the second quarter, going on a 12-1 run to knot the game at 28-28. Then it was the Jazz's turn to build a double-digit lead, pulling ahead by 11 at the half as the Lakers managed to score only 10 points in the second quarter. L.A. cut it to 68-60 heading into the fourth, but that's when Utah pushed its lead even further, leading by as many as 20 en route to the easy win.
What it means: That 2-1 trip last week seems like a distant memory as L.A. has lost any momentum it drummed up with two losses since it returned home -- to Chicago and Utah. Whether the Lakers want to admit it or not, the tank is on empty.
Hits: Kaman finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds.