That's not to say the Jazz didn't look good, despite shooting just 39 percent. While it was veterans like Raja Bell, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Josh Howard and Devin Harris who took the Jazz down the stretch, youth was also served at times. Derrick Favors had some fine moments, getting five rebounds in 12 minutes. Enes Kanter banged his way around for four rebounds. Gordon Hayward struggled (1-7 shooting) but drew praise from Bryant.
Even in losing, this Jazz seems to be finding itself.
"They have a chance to be good for a long time," said Laker coach Mike Brown.
The Lakers are still beating the Jazz. They still have their star, still have their big men that give the Jazz fits. And they still have some fire inside.
But the Jazz are coming.
Even in losing, the future didn't seem too far off.
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