LOS ANGELES — Post-Thanksgiving basketball was played at the Staples Center on Friday.
And that’s exactly how it looked like early on as the Utah Jazz were in town to face the Los Angeles Lakers.
Poor shooting (check).
A bevy of turnovers (check).
Unsightly execution (check).
The performance certainly wasn’t the best by neither team, but the Lakers pulled out a 90-83 victory, handing Utah its third consecutive loss and fifth over a six-game stretch.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was ruled out of the game after suffering a rib contusion early in the second quarter and wouldn’t return.
Alec Burks logged significant second half minutes to end with a team-high 17 points and five rebounds while Joe Ingles added 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists on 7-for-12 shooting.
However, as a whole, Utah connected on just 38.8 percent of their field goals while going 17.4 percent from beyond the arc. Before Mitchell’s injury, he was just 2-for-9 from the field and 0-for-4 from 3 as well.
After falling to 8-11 on the season, Jazz coach Quin Snyder admitted beforehand that the team’s sense of urgency needs to increase.
“Obviously, we feel the urgency of how ever many games we’ve played now,” Snyder said. “But I don’t want to say the season is young but I do want our guys to understand that there is work to be done, lets get after it and continue to do it and hopefully we will be a better team next month than we are right now and so on and so forth. We also understand that it’s not preseason.”
Utah’s struggles in Los Angeles began to mount as early as the first quarter, where they went 1-for-11 from 3 (9.1 percent) and 7-for-27 from the field (25.9 percent) while trailing by as many as 11 points after 12 minutes.
Then, despite shooting just 35.4 percent from the field in the first half — and18.8 percent from three — the Jazz somehow knotted the game at 38-38 entering halftime. Utah’s 38 points were a season-low for points scored in a first half and a low for its opponent.
Utah would jump ahead by three early in the second half, as no other Laker other than LeBron James made an assist through nearly three full quarters, until James posted nine of his 22 points in the fourth. The Lakers shot 52.4 percent from the field in the fourth as well.
James also grabbed 10 rebounds and seven assists on the night while Brandon Ingram finished with 24 points and six rebounds, plus a pair of strong dunks in the first quarter.5 comments on this story
Defensively, the Jazz scored 27 points off 23 turnovers, but couldn’t overcome the rough shooting performance as four of their next five games are on the road starting Sunday, Nov. 25 at Sacramento.
“I thought they were going to come out a little hotter this year,” said former University of Utah star Kyle Kuzma, who posted nine points and six rebounds versus the Jazz. “But last year they could kind of sneak up on people but I think this year everybody knows they’re going to be a great team and knows how well they really are so I’m sure they’ll figure it out.”